Sen. Ted Cruz joined the social pile-on attacking CNN over its decision not to identify a Redditor who apologized for his GIF of Donald Trump bashing CNN in the head after hearing from CNN.

What has thousands of undies bunched – and #CNNblackmail trending in the U.S. – is the bit in KFile’s Andrew Kaczynski report in which he explains CNN decided not to identify the man, given what was described as a full-throated apology and a promise  to refrain from posting any more objectionable remarks, while adding that CNN could identify the man should he ever repeat his “ugly behavior on social media” which included racist and anti-Semitic rants and images.

CNN, meanwhile, has issued a statement refuting a storyline being pushed that HanA**holeSolo is 15 years old, and that he apologized and deleted his objectionable material after speaking to CNN.

“CNN decided not to publish the name of the Reddit under out of concern for his safety,” the network said in a statement.

“Any assertion that the network blackmailed or coerced him is false. The user, who is an adult male, is not a 15-year-old boy, apologized and deleted his account before ever speaking with our reporter. CNN made made any deal, of any kind with the user. In fact, CNN included its decision to withhold the user’s identity in an effort to be completely transparent that there was no deal.”

Kaczynski had reported same chronology in his report published Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, CNN’s Chris Cuomo reportedly deleted a tweet wondering if CNN made the right call in not identifying the subject of its report on the GIF used by Trump in his incendiary weekend tweet.

And some Republican politicians weighed in on the fracas, including Republican congressman Scott Taylor, who accused CNN of coercing, and he’s “pretty sure a line is crossed here” in a since-deleted tweet.

Cruz also weighed in: