At his psuedo-victory speech in Texas on Super Tuesday, Ted Cruz said that there's a "secret tape" of Donald Trump admitting that he won't be all that hard on immigration if elected president. Cruz called on Trump to release the tape, the second time he's done this in the last 24 hours or so. So, is the secret Donald Trump tape Ted Cruz mentioned real?
According to BuzzFeed's Ben Smith, yes, it is. Smith reported the day before Super Tuesday that, in an off-the-record conversation with The New York Times, Trump "called into question whether he would stand by his own immigration views." While the report didn't include the specifics of what Trump supposedly said, but Smith did say that there's an audio recording of the conversation. However, because this was an off-the-record talk, the Times would only be permitted to release the recording if Trump himself gave it permission to do so.
This is what Cruz has been trying to get Donald to do. Shortly before the Super Tuesday vote, Cruz spoke to reporters and demanded that Trump give the Times the go-ahead to release the tape.
"There was a very disturbing story that broke today that apparently, there is a secret tape that the New York Times editorial board has," Cruz said on Monday. Cruz asserted that on the tape Trump says that "all of his promises to secure the border are not real, and if he's president he doesn't intend to do what he says."
"I call on Donald: Ask the New York Times to release the tape."
The Times didn't exactly confirm the existence of the tape, but did say that if Trump wanted an off-the-record recording to be released, he would have to ask the paper directly, at which point it would make a decision. That seems pretty unlikely, especially if the contents of the tape are damning.
But this brings us to the bigger question at hand: What's actually on that tape? BuzzFeed's characterization of Trump's comments were pretty vague, and they could well amount to nothing. Maybe Trump just made vague, politician-y comments about how presidents have to compromise. Maybe he simply neglected to mention building a US-Mexico border wall, an omission that could be construed as casting doubt on his intent to build one. Who knows?
The New York Times editorial board, that's who. And until Trump specifically asks them to release that tape, they'll be the only ones who know.