Ted Cruz says he and several GOP colleagues hid out in a supply closet during the Capitol riot

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the America First Agenda Summit, at the Marriott Marquis hotel July 26, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Ted Cruz.

  • In his new book, Ted Cruz says he hid out in a supply closet during the Capitol riot.
  • He says he “assembled” a coalition of Republicans in a “back room” to discuss what to do.
  • Cruz has on different occasions characterized the riot as a peaceful protest and a “terrorist attack.”

Sen. Ted Cruz wrote in his new book that he hid out in a supply closet with several Republican colleagues while rioters poured into the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

In “Justice Corrupted,” Cruz wrote that he and several Republicans, who he did not name, gathered to plan their next steps amid the chaos.

“While we waited for the Capitol to be secured, I assembled our coalition in a back room (really, a supply closet with stacked chairs) to discuss what we should do next,” Cruz wrote.

He added that he thought to himself that he would be “damned” if he allowed a “handful of violent rioters” to prevent him from fulfilling his constitutional responsibility. 

Cruz also wrote that “more than one senator expressed rage” at Republicans who objected to the certification of the 2020 election.

“As we evacuated the floor, Mitt Romney turned to me and the other objectors and said with a snarl, ‘This is what you’ve gotten us!’ And the Democrats were even angrier,” Cruz wrote. 

Cruz has flip-flopped on how he’s described the January 6 riot. During an appearance on Fox News in May, he called the rioters “peaceful protesters.” And in February, Cruz broke with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling it a “mistake” for Republicans like McConnell to describe the Capitol attack as a violent insurrection.

But earlier this year, Cruz called the Capitol riot a “violent terrorist attack” at a Senate committee meeting on January 5. This stance was consistent with the Texas senator’s statement on the riot on January 7, 2021, when he called the attack a “despicable act of terrorism and a shocking assault on our democratic system.” 

The Texas senator received sharp rebukes from the right after his January 2022 statement. Fox News host Tucker Carlson was one of the first to lash out at Cruz. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz followed, taunting the Texas lawmaker during a press conference that week, saying that Cruz may “bend over” for the GOP establishment but “they’ll never love” him.

Cruz went on Carlson’s show the same week and walked back his description of the Capitol riot. Speaking with Carlson, Cruz repeatedly said he made a mistake because of “sloppy” and “frankly, dumb” phrasing. 

Representatives for Cruz did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. “Justice Corrupted” was released on October 25.

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