Last Updated on January 13, 2021
A staffer for the Trump-Pence 2016 campaign explains that Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, threatened to pull $3 million from Vice President Pence’s then-upcoming gubernatorial election in Indiana in previously unreleased audio, recorded in 2018.
In the audio, obtained by National File but recorded at a time when most Republicans had no reason to be upset with Pence, the Trump campaign staffer explains that Pence previously considered endorsing President Donald Trump, but was informed by Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, that $3 million would be pulled from his reelection campaign if Cruz did not receive his endorsement.
National File has also been informed by Travis Smith, hired by Roe’s Axiom Strategies, that Roe had access to a large amount of funds donated by Sheldon Adelson and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Roe denied having access to Adelson’s funds when asked by National File.
Axiom employees, including Smith, are widely known to brag about having the necessary sway over Cruz to hire his official Senate office staffers. Two senior Axiom consultants, Sam Cooper and David Polyansky, worked in Cruz’s Senate office as Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff.
Given the number of former Axiom employees that have worked in senior roles at Cruz’s Capitol Hill office, it stands to reason that Roe has sizable influence over Cruz’s political and campaign decisions.
In the audio, the staffer explained that President Trump left Indiana “completely convinced Pence had given them his endorsement, and then two days later Pence goes on a radio show, and talks about how great Donald Trump is, but that he is going to endorse Ted Cruz.”
“And what happened is Cruz’s people said, if you don’t endorse us, we’re going to pull $3 million from your reelection campaign.” The staffer explained, “So he sold his endorsement for $3 million.”
When the person conducting the interview asked which member of Cruz’s team was responsible for this communication, the staffer identified Cruz’s 2016 campaign manager and current employee, Jeff Roe.
National File originally obtained this audio earlier this month, after Pence went against President Trump’s recommendation, and ceded the White House to Joe Biden without a challenge in the Electoral College.
As National File previously reported, the staffer also detailed the effort, led by Pence and former RNC Chair Reince Priebus, to oust President Trump from the Republican Party ticket in 2016, and have Pence replace him.
Roe characterized the series of events relayed in National File’s audio recording as fictitious and false, but noted that he could not “speak to” the audio recording or what was said.
Yesterday, Lauren Blair Bianchi, Cruz’s Communication Director, resigned from her position. According to The Huffington Post, she left because she did not believe it was appropriate for Cruz to defend President Trump.