New messages leaked about US senator Ted Cruz's trip to Mexico amid Texas load shedding crisis
- New text messages reviewed by Business Insider contradict Sen. Ted Cruz's Cancun story.
- Heidi Cruz appears to have rallied neighbours to join them in flying to Cancun.
- "We may go to Cancun, there is a direct flight at 445pm and hotels with capacity. Seriously," Hedi Cruz appears to have written.
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A series of new SMS messages appear to show US Senator Ted Cruz's wife Heidi Cruz talking to neighbours about a getaway to Cancun as the state endures freezing temperatures and widespread power outages.
The text messages sent to and reviewed by Business Insider contradict Cruz's previous explanation for the trip, where he pinned it to his daughters' request for a getaway during a school break. The New York Times also reported about and confirmed the messages.
In a group chat titled "Ella Lee Lovelies," referring to the street the Cruz family lives on, Heidi Cruz appears to have taken an active role in planning the getaway. In one text, a contact identified in screenshots as Heidi Cruz says the family stayed with a neighbour who had power and then suggests a trip to Cancun.
"Is everyone warm? That's a must! We could all huddle in one house, Chase's had heat," the text reads. "Anyone can or want to leave for the week? We may go to Cancun, there is a direct flight at 445pm and hotels with capacity. Seriously."
In a later message, the contact identified in screenshots as Heidi Cruz tells the group, "the Ritz Carlton has rooms at like $300 (R4,400) and we've been there many times great property god security etc no issues," adding, "I'll confirm on the covid we need to call the hotel this am to confirm that but you just test when you arrive as needs to be 3days before return."
Another group member asks who the sender is.
"Heidi Cruz," she replied.
In the last image provided to Insider, the number identified as Heidi Cruz sends information for United Flight 1020 leaving Houston on Wednesday, returning to Houston on United Flight 1019 on Sunday.
Insider reached out to Sen. Cruz's office and called Heidi Cruz for comment. Subsequent questions sent from Insider via text message to a number for Heidi Cruz were left on "read."
A previous report confirmed that before his swift return to Houston, Cruz headed to the Ritz Carlton in Cancun.
The senator from Texas was lambasted Thursday after photos of him at the airport heading to Cancun on Wednesday afternoon surfaced and spread through social media.
Facing an onslaught of criticism for his decision to flee Texas as the state contends with a deadly winter storm, Cruz returned home fewer than 24 hours after he departed.
He released a statement Thursday saying he had simply been accompanying his young daughters and had always planned on returning home Thursday.
"With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip," Cruz said in a statement. "Wanting to be a good dad, I flew them down last night, and am flying back this afternoon."
When he returned to Texas on Thursday, he told reporters at the airport that his daughters asked him on Wednesday if they could take a trip with friends to Cancun. Cruz said he and his wife agreed, and he decided to accompany them, then return the next day.
But as more information about the trip became clear Thursday, the senator's explanation began to crumble.
Cruz contacted United Airlines to change his flight from Saturday to Thursday afternoon, according to Skift reporter Edward Russell. Then speaking to reporters outside his house Thursday evening, he acknowledged that he had originally intended to stay in Mexico through the weekend even as millions of Texans remained without power or heat after a rare winter storm caused mass blackouts across the state.
Protesters reportedly gathered outside the Cruz home Thursday evening, chanting "Hey, hey, Ho ho, Ted Cruz has got to go," and "Resign."
"When it became more and more of a firestorm it became all the more compelling that I needed to come back," he added.
Still, Cruz managed to continue deflecting some of the blame, according to Cook. He again stated that his daughters wanted to go somewhere warm, and added: "We're in a strange time where Twitter is going crazy and the media is going crazy."
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