The Taliban have largely regained control of Afghanistan once again following the withdrawal of American troops from the region, a devastating end to 20 years' worth of war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and nearly a trillion dollars.
CNN international correspondent Clarissa Ward is currently on the ground in Kabul, where the Taliban has overtaken the presidential palace and begun retaliation campaigns toward Afghans who worked against the radical group.
Ward noted the militants were chanting "Death to America" with a friendly disposition, calling it "utterly bizarre."
Jack Posobiec, one of the most vocal purveyors of the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton operated a child sex trafficking ring inside a D.C. pizzeria, shared a misleading clip of the scene.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas—a frequent trafficker in social media spats—eagerly shared the video in an attempt to smear CNN for supposedly cheerleading enemies of America.
Is there an enemy of America for whom @CNN WON’T cheerlead? (In mandatory burkas, no less.) https://t.co/9O6pe8yROM— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz) 1629127851.0
It wasn't long before CNN's official public relations account responded, and didn't pull punches.
Rather than running off to Cancun in tough times, @clarissaward is risking her life to tell the world what's happening. That's called bravery. Instead of RTing a conspiracy theorist's misleading soundbite, perhaps your time would be better spent helping Americans in harm's way.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) August 16, 2021
The network noted that Ward was "risking her life to tell the world what's happening" instead of "running off to Cancun in tough times," alluding to one of Cruz's greatest scandals.
When his state of Texas suffered brutal winter storms that decimated its independent power grid this past February, Cruz left with his family to escape to sunny Cancún, Mexico while millions of his constituents were left without power in the freezing cold. At least 57 people died.
The clapback made waves on social media.
Dang. CNN going hard at Ted Cruz, and rightfully so. https://t.co/IxPbBpEUF4— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1629139390.0
@CNNPR @tedcruz @CNN @clarissaward I would say call the burn unit, but all the ICUs in Texas are already full.— Harry Wagstaff (@Harry Wagstaff) 1629139402.0
Yeah, @CNNPR woke up today and chose violence. #TedCruzIsACoward https://t.co/oLRG9KZixd— Jayne Marie Severin (@Jayne Marie Severin) 1629144791.0
They commended the account that shared the devastating comeback.
This response is brilliant. Bravo @CNNPR 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 https://t.co/xQCtStBcJs— Leah* Longbrake (@Leah* Longbrake) 1629140190.0
Nice to see @CNN punching back at @tedcruz who is still actively searching for his spine. While some might sugges… https://t.co/Yrlu066DK9— (((Howard Forman))) (@(((Howard Forman)))) 1629141200.0
Good on @CNN for standing behind their reporter. Shame on Ted Cruz for going after a journalist risking her life to… https://t.co/GhmHxuHJLV— Julia Ioffe (@Julia Ioffe) 1629140324.0
Cruz has been uncharacteristically unresponsive.