This week, the National Enquirer published a story claiming Ted Cruz may have been involved in as many as five extramarital affairs. But the general allegations are nothing new. People have been talking publicly about, well, something involving Cruz for weeks.
The conjecture so far has been just that—speculation in the absence of receipts. Still, people have repeatedly pointed to Katrina Pierson, a former Cruz aide and one of the women whose blurred-out photo appeared in the National Enquirer story.
On Twitter, conservatives have been discussing the scandal, in vague (and sometimes less-vague) terms since March, using the hashtag #thething, which seems to have originated, or at least gained popularity, around March 11, with the Stop Trump Super PAC twitter account and GOP strategist Rick Wilson. (Given that many tweets on the subject have since been deleted, it’s difficult to track down the actual origin of the term.)
Those tweets, at least initially, suggested the existence of some sort of video.
I wish I had control of The Thing https://t.co/sQXqQ9xNGa— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 11, 2016
If I had The Thing, you'd have the thing.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 11, 2016
Dear media outlets in possession of The Thing; I know you're scared about legal. Have an intern post it on YouTube and then "discover" it.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 11, 2016
Over past 24 hrs, a bunch of people have suddenly been asking if I have some kind of explosive video in my possession...? (I don't.)— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) March 11, 2016
The only things about “The Thing” that people seem sure about are that 1) it involves former Cruz staffer and current Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, and 2) the media’s been sitting on it. (“I hate getting scooped,” Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari tweeted early this morning after the Enquirer story dropped.)
Really can't imagine why Ted Cruz absolutely insists on clearing brush for Donald Trump. Total mystery. pic.twitter.com/OYO7BYmgVC— #WriteInRubio (@corrcomm) March 11, 2016