Senate Republicans furiously attacked Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Utah Sen. Mike Lee behind closed doors and leaked details of an off-record meeting to the media to harm the two senators, according to Lee.
Lee divulged some of the details of a closed-door meeting on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Friday, since he said much of it had been leaked to the media by his own colleagues.
“[N]ormally, I don’t comment at all on closed-door meetings between Republican senators,” Lee said. “It’s a pretty strict rule we follow. But one exception I’ll make is circumstances like this, where contents of the meeting were leaked deliberately by several of my colleagues and leaked in a very one-sided way. I’m happy to tell you about it here.”
“It was an all-out attack against Ted Cruz and me,” he continued. “It was unflattering. It was unfair. It was demeaning. It was demeaning to Sen. Cruz and me, but more than anything, it was demeaning to those who engaged in the attack.”
Lee said a number of senators had risen to speak against him and Cruz — “enough that I lost count.”
“I have to ask the question — why weren’t those who leaked this and leaked it in an unflattering and unfavorable way — why were they not willing to attach their names to those quotes?” he said. “You know, Ted Cruz and I spoke after the meeting and you know, we would both be fine with the American people seeing and hearing what we said in that meeting. But we’re pretty sure most of our colleagues would be very uncomfortable and downright embarrassed if their constituents saw the way they were behaving.”
Lee added there were “not really” any in the GOP caucus who had risen to his and Cruz’s defense.
“There were a lot of people who were participating directly in the attacks, adding fuel to the fire,” Lee added. “There were a lot of others who were staring at their shoes.”