HOUSTON -- Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who is facing intense calls for his resignation, told our sister station KTRK-TV exclusively that his intent to oppose Joe Biden's electoral win was based on legality and to fight voter fraud.
In his first interview since the U.S. Capitol was under unprecedented siege by President Donald Trump's supporters, the Texas senator also insisted that he did not agree and has never agreed with the sitting president's rhetoric that fired up the chaos and left four people dead on Wednesday.
"The president's language and rhetoric often goes too far. I think, yesterday, in particular, the president's language and rhetoric crossed the line and it was reckless. I disagree with it, and I have disagreed with the president's language and rhetoric for the last four years," Cruz said.
He continued, "If you looked to what I have said, you will not find me say the same language or rhetoric."
In the video player above, watch Sen. Cruz's full exclusive interview, which covers his own experience inside the Capitol building and whether he believes Pres. Trump should be out of office immediately.
Before the Capitol police were overwhelmed, Trump had rallied his supporters to march to the legislative building, essentially to halt the Electoral College certification.
Moreover, though, Cruz had been steadfast with the aim of his opposition. When Congress reconvened to resume the certification, he remained one of the seven senators out of an original 11 who voted to dispute Pennsylvania's electoral votes for Biden.
Some lawmakers who originally intended to oppose changed course during the reconvened session, basing their decision on the events earlier in the day.
The fact that Cruz stood firm with the opposition did not sit well with colleagues, and the Texas Democratic Party wanted him to resign immediately.
Cruz, though, dismissed the calls, saying they were, to him, an unsurprising political ploy by Democrats.
"I do think it's really cynical for them to try and take advantage of what was a tragic event that occurred yesterday in Washington - the terrorist attack on the Capitol was despicable," Cruz said.
Despite failing in his efforts, Cruz said at the end of the day, Congress certified the Electoral College win for Biden and the president-elect will be sworn in on Jan. 20 as the law stipulates.