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March 25, 2016

WATCH: Reporter insinuates former Cruz staffer had affair live on CNN

Boston Herald reporter probes Amanda Carpenter about National Enquirer story

Politics Scandals
032516_CruzTrumpspatCNN Source/CNN

CNN anchor Kate Bolduan lands in the middle of a spat between Boston Herald reporter Adriana Cohen and Ted Cruz spokeswoman Amanda Carpenter.

Republican rancor over a salacious National Enquirer story about Ted Cruz' alleged infidelity took an awkward turn live on CNN Friday afternoon when a Boston Herald reporter suggested the Texas senator's former communications director was one of the candidate's extramarital partners.

Appearing on Kate Bolduan's "At This Hour" program, Boston Herald reporter and Donald Trump proponent Adrianna Cohen called on Amanda Carpenter to deny or confirm the allegations made by the National Enquirer. Earlier this week, the American tabloid published a story claiming Cruz cheated on his wife, Heidi, with five other women.

The exchange came after a back-and-forth about Trump's retweet of an opinion that his wife, Melania, is more attractive than Heidi Cruz. Bolduan attempts to steer the dialogue to another topic, but Cohen takes the opportunity to dive into the National Enquirer story.

Cruz has responded fiercely to the National Enquirer "smear," contending that Trump planted it through "henchmen" including former campaign advisor Roger Stone and American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker.

"Trump demonstrated that when he's scared, when he's losing, his first and natural resort is to go to sleaze and to go to slime," Cruz said.

In a statement issued through campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Trump denied any involvement in the story and claimed that he hopes it isn't true. The National Enquirer, owned by American Media, Inc., endorsed Trump for president earlier this month and told CNN that "no one influences" the tabloid's reporting.

The Republican arch rivals will next face off in the Wisconsin primary on April 5. Trump currently leads the party with 739 delegates, followed by Cruz with 465 and Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 143. The winner must obtain 1,237 delegates to secure the party's nomination.