Crime

Does U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz Want to Defund the FBI? He's Not Quite Saying Either Way.

Republicans aren't happy after the FBI's search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.
Republicans aren't happy after the FBI's search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. Chip Somodevilla/Getty
At an event in Atlanta over the weekend, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said the FBI needs a “complete house cleaning.” And the Internal Revenue Service? Well, they need massive job cuts, according to Cruz.

This all came out when political activist Lauren Windsor approached Cruz at the Atlanta event. Windsor is the founder of an online video outlet called The Undercurrent. The outlet has increasingly used undercover video to call out conservative politicians like Cruz. Tuesday morning, Windsor posted the undercover footage of Cruz from the Atlanta event.

When Windsor spoke with Cruz, she thanked him for advocating for Herschel Walker in his Georgia Senate race and his campaign against the IRS. “But I think it’s imperative that you really have to defund the FBI after all the witch hunts that are goin’ on,” Windsor told Cruz.

In response, Cruz says in the video: “It is horrific the abuse of power at the FBI, and it’s wrong. And there needs to be a complete house cleaning that happens at the FBI.”

Windsor then asked if that will be possible in a Republican-led Senate. “I think we need to fight to do that and need to fight to have real oversight,” Cruz responds.

“It is horrific the abuse of power at the FBI and it’s wrong." – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz

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The undercover video made the rounds on social media, eventually getting shared by the Twitter account for the liberal super PAC MeidasTouch. The PAC's post said, “Ted Cruz wants to defund the FBI.”

This got a reaction from the Texas senator, who responded on Twitter. Cruz said in the post: “Leftie Twitter is gonna like – it’s what they do – but every word I said is true: the FBI’s raid was a horrific ‘abuse of power;’ there needs to be a ‘complete housecleaning’ at the FBI; we need ‘real oversight’ from Congress. All absolutely true!”

Although Cruz appeared to agree with Windsor's comments, he didn't openly say he wanted to defund the FBI in the video. Still, many Republicans have said as much. Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for instance, has tweeted, "DEFUND THE FBI!"

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, a Republican from Texas, took to Twitter to claim that "NOBODY trusts the FBI & DOJ anymore." He added, "They've morphed into a political organization that's hellbent on intimidating & scaring law-abiding conservatives."

Ever since the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, Republicans have increasingly criticized the FBI. During its search, the FBI took 11 sets of classified material from Trump’s resort, according to CNN. Not long after the search, a man attacked an FBI building in Ohio and later died when he was shot by police. On a social media account allegedly owned by the attacker, he told followers to arm themselves and prepare for combat.

It’s uncertain what legal repercussions Trump will face. If there are any, some are suggesting it will lead to civil unrest. In a recent interview on Fox News, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said, “If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information, after the Clinton debacle…there’ll be riots in the streets.”
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Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn