As Donald Trump stands trial for impeachment before the U.S. Senate for inciting a violent mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, a video started circulating on social media showing Texas senator Ted Cruz, one of Trump's fiercest defenders, saying that the former president had a history of inciting violence.
"I'm very troubled by this. Donald Trump now has a consistent pattern of inciting violence. Of Donald and his henchmen pushing for violence," Cruz can be heard saying in the video.
"They need to play this on loop for twenty minutes at the trial," wrote one user, while another commented, "How do they just forget they said these things."
The video was taken during the 2016 presidential campaign. At the time, Cruz was a presidential candidate and was pitted against Trump as he campaigned for the Republican party's nomination.
The clip was taken from an interview between Cruz and radio host Glenn Beck in April 2016. They were discussing Trump ally Roger Stone's threat to release the names and hotel room numbers of Republican delegates who wanted to switch their votes from Trump to Cruz at the GOP convention. The interview also came in the wake of reports that some of Trump's supporters had made death threats to GOP officials.
Sen. Marco Rubio Also Condemned Trump for Inciting Violence
Cruz's sentiments at the time were echoed by fellow Republican senator Marco Rubio, who, as pointed out by Washington Post's Dave Weigel, condemned Trump for violence at his rally a month before Cruz's above-mentioned interview.
"The great thing about our republic is that we settle our difference in this country at the ballot box, not with guns or bayonets or violence," Rubio said in the interview. "This is what happens when a leading presidential candidate goes around feeding into a narrative of anger and bitterness and frustration.... I think the question is what this means for the future of America, not just the Republican Party."
Rubio added at the time that Trump was pushing the political system toward a "boiling point" and ripping the country "apart at the seams."