Two voicemail recordings support Ben Carson's claim that Ted Cruz staffers spread the false rumor at Iowa caucus sites as a way of convincing his supporters to abandon his campaign. The recordings were posted on YouTube Thursday by Breitbart.com.
Cruz won Iowa, while Carson finished a distant 4th. Both candidates were vying for the same religious right supporters.
Cruz has defended his staff's actions, saying they heard a CNN report that Carson was heading home to Florida after the Iowa caucuses ended and not straight to New Hampshire to campaign in that primary. CNN disputed that it ever reported that Carson was suspending his campaign.
Breitbart reports that Cruz volunteers were ordered to spread the word that Carson was "taking a leave" from the race even though the campaign had confirmed that it was not true.
Here are the voicemails, which Breitbart said it has traced to Cruz telephone numbers.
Donald Trump calls Cruz, his closest rival for the GOP nomination, a "total fraud" for the strategy.
Karl Rove, who heled engineer George W. Bush's election, discusses the controvery on FOX News: