Staff members for Senator Ted Cruz (R—TX) reportedly requested assistance as he traveled through a local airport on Wednesday, while viral photos and reports appeared to indicate he had fled the state amid a disastrous and historic winter storm for a getaway with his wife in Cancun, Mexico.
The Houston Police Department first told ABC News it assisted the senator during his travels through the Texas airport on Wednesday, as millions remains without power and heat in the state due to the unprecedented storm and rolling blackouts. The police department was simultaneously working to assist those millions of residents as the death toll grew across the state due to the dangerously low temperatures and lack of essential necessities.
According to a statement provided by the Houston Police Department, the senator’s staff “contacted HPD personnel at IAH on Wednesday … and requested assistance upon the Senator’s arrival at the airport.”
The statement continued: “HPD officers monitored his movements through the terminal.”
The Associated Press and several outlets had reported by Thursday that Mr Cruz had left the state for Mexico, effectively confirming photos that showed him wearing a mask as he boarded a flight during the storm.
The Houston Police Department did not immediately return requests for comment. Mr Cruz’s Senate offices also did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
It is not unordinary for senators and other prominent figures to request police department personnel assistance while traveling. However, many lawmakers also travel without security assistance when going through airports and other major transportation hubs. It’s unclear what prompted the senator’s office to request the assistance from HPD on Wednesday.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.