GOP Senate office rips Trump nominee: 'Cynics and nuts' will have hard time securing confirmation
Posted February 6, 2018 2:06 p.m. EST
(CNN) — One of President Donald Trump's nominees is drawing condemnation and mockery from a Republican senator over his past statements pushing conspiracy theories and unfounded political attacks on Trump's opponents.
CNN's KFile reported on Monday that Leandro Rizzuto Jr., Trump's nominee to be the US Ambassador to Barbados and several other Caribbean countries, frequently retweeted conspiracy theories and rumors about Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
A spokesperson for Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse's office joked in a statement Tuesday that the Senate should probably know Rizzuto's views on the moon landing and warned that "cynics and nuts" would probably face a difficult confirmation process.
"Mr. Rizzuto should feel free to put on his tinfoil hat and visit our office with evidence for his salacious conspiracy theories and cuckoo allegations," said Sasse spokesman James Wegmann. "While he's at it, the Senate probably needs to know his views on the moon landing. I'm sure Senator Sasse will be willing to evaluate the specific evidence for his claims --- but it's got to be more than a stack of National Enquirers."
Wegmann continued, "People who want to serve Americans as our diplomats and spokespeople abroad should know that words and truth matter, even during campaigns. Cynics and nuts are probably going to have a hard time securing Senate confirmation."
If confirmed, Rizzuto, a senior executive at Conair, would serve as the next ambassador to Barbados, as well as to serve concurrently as ambassador to Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Rizzuto promoted unfounded allegations that Cruz was unfaithful to his wife and that Heidi Cruz was a leading member in an effort to combine the governments of the US, Canada and Mexico. Rizzuto also promoted an unfounded conspiracy theory that long time Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Reached by phone on Monday, Rizzuto told CNN that he could not comment on his Twitter activity based on guidelines from the State Department.