Trump keeps hitting Cruz over Coburn

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed several times that Republican Sen. Tom Coburn called GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz "dishonest"
  • Coburn never leveled that accusation

Beaufort, South Carolina (CNN)Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed several times that Republican Sen. Tom Coburn called GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz "dishonest."

Coburn never leveled that accusation, but Trump on Tuesday tweeted the debunked statement and twice referenced it on stage during two events in South Carolina on Tuesday, even after Trump deleted his original tweet.
"The senator just came out -- the senator from Oklahoma who is a very highly respected senator -- he said he's one of the most dishonest people he's ever worked with. That's a hell of a statement. I never even heard a statement like that," Trump said, hours after he had deleted his tweet making the claim.
    Trump's director of social media, Dan Scavino, also deleted his tweet incorrectly quoting Coburn.
    Coburn, meanwhile, told the Washington Examiner the quote being attributed to him was an "absolute fabrication."
    Trump also referenced the false Coburn quote during an earlier event in North Augusta, South Carolina, as he was slamming Cruz as "dishonest."
    Trump quote-tweeted Scavino's tweet which claimed Coburn had called Cruz "one of the most dishonest people in D.C."
    The quote came from a progressive writer who was referencing comments Coburn made about Cruz.
    Coburn was critical of Cruz in an interview last fall, knocking the Texas senator and GOP presidential hopeful for creating "greater disappointment in the hinterlands" by making pledges to stop Obamacare with President Barack Obama still in office.
    "You gave them a false hope, knowing that you couldn't accomplish it, but it was about yelling, and screaming, and waving the flag," Coburn said in October.