GOP nominee Donald Trump said Friday that scorned former rival Ted Cruz added negative remarks to his controversial Republican National Convention speech after submitting it to Trump for review.
Trump dropped the bombshell during an event to applaud the volunteers and others behind what he called a very successful RNC.
Trump said he had reviewed the speech.
"I knew his speech, I saw exactly what his speech was because when you go up to speak, you have to give your speech, you know? We don't want surprises, right? So they gave it," Trump said. "They came to me and said it's a boring speech, Mr. Trump. He congratulates you on the victory — congratulates you on the victory."
But "Ted Cruz took his speech that was done, was on the teleprompter, said hello, then made a statement that wasn't on the speech and then went back to his speech," he said.
"To me, that's dishonorable. To me, not signing a pledge is dishonorable. OK? Not a nice thing to do."
Trump said Cruz's change "could have been viewed as a nasty thing in terms of what he said, because he was implying something which is wrong.
"But that's OK," he added.
Trump's claim that Cruz changed his speech appears to contradict a statement he made on Twitter Thursday, the morning after Cruz's speech, which made no mention of Cruz adding provocative statements to his prepared address.
Trump's sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, gave interviews on the issue Thursday without accusing Cruz of adding material to his speech.
By refusing to endorse him, Trump said Friday, Cruz "may have ruined his political career."
"I feel so badly, I feel so badly," Trump said. "And you know, he'll come and endorse over the next little while, he'll come and — because he has no choice — I don't want his endorsement. What difference does it make? ... I don't want his endorsement. Ted, stay home, relax, enjoy yourself."
"Again, I don't want his endorsement," Trump said later. "If he gives it, I will not accept it, just so you understand. If he gives it, I will not accept it. ...
"Honestly, he should have done it because nobody cares. And he would have been in better shape for four years from now if he's going to [run again]. I don't see him winning anyway frankly. If he did, it's fine. Although maybe I'll set up a Super PAC if he decides to run.
"Are you allowed to set up a Super PAC if you are the president to fight somebody?"
Trump also assailed Cruz for his comments to a group of Texas delegates, including the assertion that the senator would not roll over "like a servile puppy dog" to endorse a person who insulted his wife and father.
"I didn't start anything with the wife," Trump said. "A PAC, which he's very friendly with, released a cover story on my wife, who was a tremendously successful and elegant model, and she was on the cover of GQ magazine. I think it was GQ, right? GQ magazine's not exactly Penthouse."
It was an "artsy picture" of Melania Trump taken when she was a "really successful" model.
She didn't need to marry me, she was making a lot of money. I had to work hard to get her to marry me. It wasn't that easy," Trump said.
The picture was released in Utah, not a place where "you want to necessarily send a risque picture," devoid of any indication it was from GQ, he continued.
"Then when I saw somebody tweeted a picture of Melania and a picture of Heidi who I think, by way, is a very nice woman and a very beautiful woman," said Trump. "I have to tell you, I think Heidi Cruz is a great person, I think it's the best thing he's got going and his kids, if you want to know the truth.... That takes care of the Heidi thing because Heidi's a terrific woman."
Regarding Cruz's father, "a lovely guy," Trump said, "all I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast."
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