Ted Cruz responds after his Twitter account "likes" porn

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz waves at a rally at the Boone County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, Ind., Saturday, April 23, 2016. (Jenna Watson/The Indianapolis Star via AP) NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

AP

Last Updated Sep 12, 2017 6:42 PM EDT

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Tuesday said he was not responsible for a liked pornographic video that surfaced on his personal Twitter account Monday night. 

"It was a staffing issue, and it was inadvertent, it was a mistake, it was not a deliberate action," Cruz told reporters on Capitol Hill. "There were a number of people on the team that have access to the account, and it appears that someone inadvertently hit the 'like' button." 

Cruz even made light of the social media slip, joking about how he should have posted "something like this back during the Indiana primary." Cruz lost that primary to Donald Trump and dropped his presidential bid afterwards.

He said that the issue is being taken care of in his office internally and the staffer's access to the account is being debated. 

The video, which popped up in Cruz's "likes," and not his account's tweet feed, prompted a late-night response from his senior communications adviser, Catherine Frazier, after viral uproar.   

"The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported by staff and reported to Twitter," Frazier tweeted around 2:16 a.m. on Tuesday.   

Although the offensive material was deleted overnight, hundreds of screenshots of the Cruz's account bio adjacent to the pornographic video continues to populate social media. 

The liked material in question originated from a pornographic Twitter account titled "Sexuall Posts."

Viral speculation about the person responsible for "liking" the video swirled early on Tuesday morning: had the account been hacked? Or liked by staffer not realizing that he or she was still logged into the senator's account? Or posted by the senator himself? 

"The 'I was hacked excuse is suspect, at best," according to CBS Interactive's senior SEO analyst, Thom Craver, who has also been a system security administrator. "Hacker groups are out for money, so they target something where there have financial gain. Websites get defaced and ransoms are set. Social media profiles are defaced in a similar way. That a so-called hacker figured out his password and only 'liked' some controversial tweet is highly unlikely."

Here are some of the reactions to Cruz's inadvertent "like": 

The "Sexuall Posts" Twitter account, which the Cruz account was involved with, responded to the incident. On the account's bio now reads, "Follow for the Same Porn @TedCruz Watches." 

CBS News' Walt Cronkite contributed to this report.