Political News

Ted Cruz defends pause answering Trump self-pardon question

Posted June 5, 2018 10:16 a.m. EDT

— Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is defending his pause before answering a question on whether President Donald Trump could pardon himself, calling reports that he wouldn't answer after pausing for 18 seconds "knee-jerk partisanship and dishonest journalism."

"(The text in the Constitution) has no limitation on WHOM can be pardoned (although nobody can be pardoned from impeachment or for non-federal offenses)," he tweeted as part of a thread. "Some dishonest journalists have attacked me for 'taking 18 seconds' to answer -- without acknowledging that I was walking through the Capitol, late to a meeting, and simply ignoring a question that a reporter had called out at me (as senators do every single day in the Capitol)."

Cruz was referencing when he was asked by reporters whether Trump could pardon himself, referencing the President's tweet that he could do exactly that. He paused and then again was asked, which he answered.

"That is not a constitutional issue I've studied, so I will withhold judgment," Cruz said after being asked a second time.

On Tuesday, defended his response that he hadn't studied the issue.

"Finally, other partisan journalists have attacked me for saying 'that is not a constitutional issue I have studied, so I will withhold judgment at this point.' That was true then, and is true now," he tweeted.