A spokesman for the presidential campaign for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz fired back at recent criticism over the decision to make a controversial Williamson County Republican the campaign's Tennessee chairman, calling those remarks "absurd."

The Cruz campaign recently announced Kevin Kookogey will serve as the campaign's Tennessee chairman. In 2012 as chairman of the Williamson County GOP, Kookogey, described as an anti-Shariah activist, oversaw the passage of a resolution criticizing Gov. Bill Haslam for having a Muslim employee and a council that advised the state on Islamic affairs.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations pointed to that resolution Tuesday in asking the Texas Republican's campaign to cut ties with Kookogey. In a statement, CAIR, self-described as the largest Muslim rights advocacy organization in the country, accused Kookogey of "longstanding support for anti-Muslim and Islamaphobic causes."

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