- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A spokesman for Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska blasted President Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Barbados Tuesday, saying the man peddled “cuckoo” conspiracy theories about Mr. Trump’s rivals during the election campaign in 2016.

Sasse spokesman James Wegmann said nominee Leandro Rizzuto Jr. “should know that words and truth matter, even during campaigns.”

Mr. Rizzuto should feel free to put on his tinfoil hat and visit our office with evidence for his salacious conspiracy theories and cuckoo allegations,” Mr. Wegmann said. “While he’s at it, the Senate probably needs to know his views on the moon landing.”

Mr. Rizzuto, a senior executive at Conair, launched attacks during the GOP presidential primary against Trump rivals such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He told Mr. Cruz to “go back to Canada,” and retweeted an accusation that Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, wanted to combine the governments of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Mr. Rizzuto told CNN he couldn’t comment on the accusations against him due to State Department guidelines for nominees. If confirmed by the Senate, he would also serve as U.S. ambassador to St. Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Mr. Sasse’s spokesman said of the nominee, “Cynics and nuts are probably going to have a hard time securing Senate confirmation.”

“I’m sure Senator Sasse will be willing to evaluate the specific evidence for his claims — but it’s got to be more than a stack of National Enquirers,” he said.

Mr. Rizzuto’s tweets on his personal account have been deleted; some retweets are still visible. 

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