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By Kurtis Lee, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

The back and forth over immigration between Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas has intensified since Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate with daily attacks and a flurry of television ads.

Sunday was no different.

Rubio, who has been repeatedly questioned over his 2013 support of a major immigration reform bill that would have provided a path to citizenship to people in the country illegally, has looked to highlight an amendment to the legislation that Cruz proposed. It would have scrapped the bill’s pathway to citizenship for immigrants who are undocumented but left open a route to legal status in the form of green cards.

“Ted was open, and was in fact a supporter of legalizing people that were in this country illegally,” Rubio said Sunday in an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation. “He made it clear on multiple occasions that he was against citizenship, but he was open to legalization.”

Speaking to reporters last week in Las Vegas, Cruz insisted the amendment was meant as a sort of poison pill to the bill and that he has never supported legalization.

“I oppose amnesty. I oppose citizenship. I oppose legalization,” he said.

In an effort to push back against criticism, Cruz has highlighted the support of several conservatives, such as Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who have called Rubio’s attacks misleading.

Surveys of Republican primary voters have shown they strongly oppose granting citizenship to those in the country illegally. Cruz has sought to capitalize on that view.

He’s often assailed Rubio, who was one of eight senators to craft the 2013 proposal, as a supporter of amnesty. A new television ad released in Iowa on Friday hammers Rubio for his support of the bipartisan proposal.

“He still supports amnesty and citizenship to this day,” Cruz said while in Las Vegas, noting Rubio’s concession that he supports allowing some immigrants to apply for work permits and then, after 10 years, allowing them to apply for citizenship.

©2015 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) Governor John Kasich, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, businessman Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, former Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul pose before the start of the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada December 15, 2015.    REUTERS/Mike Blake

 

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)