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Texas Take: Cruz Cozies Up To Trump ... A Russian Invite ... 'Easy Rider' Abbott

Ryan Poppe
Texas Public Radio
Ted Cruz in 2016

Plus: Bail reform, a new DACA showdown and 'Winning for Texas' as campaign season rachets up

Editor's note: Mike Ward, who appeared on this podcast, was a reporter for the Houston Chronicle whose reporting was called into question in August, 2018. Although the podcasts were primarily analysis of current events, in the interest of disclosure, we thought it wise to include this information.
The Houston Chronicle retracted eight reports and issued corrections in multiple others, saying they were based on fabricated information, after an outside investigation revealed 44 percent of people quoted in Ward’s stories did not appear to exist. 
Ward resigned earlier this year while the investigation was underway.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump mocked Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz as "Lying Ted" and disparaged both his wife and his father.

What a difference two years can make. Cruz, locked in a tight re-election fightwith U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, is seeking Trump's endorsement and help in the coming fall campaign -- in one of the stranger development in a campaign season that just seems to be getting more and more colorful.

Strange, too, was the appearance of  state Sen. Don Huffines and his brother Phillip, who lost a primary to join his brother in the Texas Senate, standing alongside U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in Russia, inviting increased dialogue with Moscow, at a time when Washington is gridlocked with investigations into alleged Russian interference in Trump's election.

Both the Huffines and Paul are Republicans.

Then again, Gov. Greg Abbott, who's been confined to a wheelchair for years, announced on Twitter that he was considering buying a motorcycle. "Easy Rider" Abbott? Could be.

The rest of the political week: Attorney General Ken Paxton moves to have DACA declared unconstitutional, as he releases a new campaign video entitled "Winning for Texas," and the FBI warns Texas academic and medical leaders about possible spying by the Chinese and other countries.

Go behind the headlines for a look at what's really going on at the Texas Capitol and in Washington. Join the conversation featuring Mike WardAustin Bureau Chief for the Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and other Hearst Newspapers, and Ryan PoppeTexas Public Radio's Capitol reporter. Scott Braddock, our co-host and editor of The Quorum Report, an acclaimed Texas political newsletter, is on assignment this week. 

Our sponsors this week: Texas Association of Countiesand Lone Star Targeting.