Sasse, Cruz talk 'dumped' Dr Pepper, Lee Harvey Oswald and Zodiac Killer in Twitter exchange

Story highlights

  • Sasse said he dumped Dr Pepper on Cruz's head
  • His remark came after a tenuous back and forth between Al Franken and Jeff Sessions

Washington (CNN)Republican Sens. Ben Sasse and Ted Cruz distracted themselves -- and many on Twitter -- during Wednesday's Senate judiciary committee hearing, starting with a comment about a spilled Dr Pepper and ending with Cruz tweeting a reference to a meme that alleges he is the Zodiac Killer.

After a heated exchange between Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding Sessions' contact with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign, Sasse began his own line of questioning by apologizing for a distraction during the back-and-forth.
"I dumped a Dr Pepper on Senator Cruz, so that was what was distracting us on this side of the dais," Nebraska's Sasse quipped.
    Texas' Cruz responded over Twitter, issuing a playful memo to staffers that Sasse should be cut off from his office's Dr Pepper fridge, a testament to the soft drink's popularity in the Lone Star State, where it was created in Waco in 1885.
    A Twitter user quipped that they "might do worse" if they were "sitting with the son of the guy who killed Kennedy" -- a reference to a bizarre 2016 campaign moment in which now-President Donald Trump made reference to a debunked conspiracy theory published in the National Enquirer that linked Cruz's father to John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
    Sasse retweeted that comment, adding: "full disclosure: i was wearing my 'Lee Harvey Oswald Was Framed' t-shirt"
    To which Cruz responded with a series of zodiac symbols, a reference to the Internet meme that promotes the joking conspiracy theory that he is the never-apprehended Zodiac Killer.