According to a CNN report, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas' campaign called an Iowa precinct captain two times after the caucus to let them know that Ben Carson was "suspending campaigning" and that they should alert voters and encourage them to caucus for him.
Precinct captain Nancy Bliesman told CNN that she received two voicemail messages from the Cruz campaign.
"Dr. Ben Carson will be (inaudible) suspending campaigning following tonight's caucuses," someone who identified themselves as a Cruz campaign staffer said in one of the Feb. 1 voicemails. "Please inform any Carson caucusgoers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead."
"It has just been announced that Ben Carson is taking a leave of absence from the campaign trail, so it is very important that you tell any Ben Carson voters that for tonight, uh, that they not waste a vote on Ben Carson, and vote for Ted Cruz," another voicemail said.
The voicemails were first reported by Breitbart News, and Bliesman then confirmed their content to CNN.
Cruz was accused of trying to sway voters after taking a CNN report that said Carson was going home to Florida following the caucuses and spreading it among his supporters — telling them that the story implied Carson was suspending his campaign. However, the CNN report stated that Carson was taking a break from the campaign and would, in fact, resume in time for the New Hampshire primary.
"The senator has already apologized for not more quickly making that clarification, and there is no evidence that our sharing of this news story impacted Carson's campaign -- he well outperformed expectations," Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told CNN.
"The voicemails are in line with the reports that were made at that time," she added.
"Dr. Carson feels absolutely robbed, violated," Armstrong Williams, a source close to Carson, told Politico, according to New York Magazine.
"He realizes, the Democrats are not his enemies trying to malign him," Williams added. "It’s people who smile in his face, shake his hand, go out to dinner with him — and yet, they’re trying to destroy him behind his back.”