Late Monday (or early Tuesday, depending on your time zone), it was discovered that the verified Twitter account for Senator Ted Cruz had a “like” on a very NSFW tweet. The liked tweet, sent from “@SexuallPosts”, was pornographic, and the incident quickly had Twitter abuzz. By abuzz, think “broke the internet.”

The hubbub started when Twitter user @MillennialMatt posted a short video and screen shot purporting to show Cruz’s like of the pornographic tweet and what the video depicted. You can watch it here. Once again, the video is extremely NSFW. You are warned.

The expose tweet was posted at 12:27 AM Eastern (9:27 PM Pacific, 4:27 AM Greenwich).

About nine minutes later, a separate Twitter user posted a screen shot showing that the “like” still there.

Since @MillennialMatt (or any other individual Twitter user) would be a dubious source, I checked elsewhere to see if they were faking this for attention. The Wayback Machine was consistently returning 404 errors, as was Google cache. Interesting. (Even during the AJ Delgado/Jason Miller tweet storm we were able to retrieve and archive cached pages for hours.)

Within 30 minutes the New York Post and Daily Mail had jumped on the salacious story, and the hashtag was booming on Twitter.

RedState was then able to locate a cached page showing the “liked” tweets immediately before the pornographic tweet – but the live version of Cruz’s Twitter page did not show the “like.” One could argue that a screenshot showing the pornographic tweet could be generated, but if that were so, why would cached versions of Cruz’s twitter account suddenly be unavailable?

Soon, other Twitter users posted screenshot as well. A history of screenshots of the page taken by Archive.is shows the questionable tweet displayed until sometime between 5:18 AM and 5:14 AM Greenwich time.

Despite the frenzy, nobody has posted any examples of similar likes or any history of liking inappropriate content. Most politicians do have staff who operate their Twitter accounts, and those staff have to remember which account they are using when logged in. If you’ve ever used two different Twitter accounts you know to what I’m referring.

Perhaps that will be the explanation Senator Cruz offers. Considering the feeding frenzy, he’ll have to address it. If a staffer working late at night was signed in to their personal account and to the Ted Cruz account and inadvertently liked pornography with the wrong account, pornography that matches nothing else in the Senator’s Twitter history, then that staffer should be fired. Those are the breaks when you mess up this badly.

If there is another explanation, including the one his enemies are really, really hoping is (and are acting as if is already proven to be) true, you have to wonder how they’d handle that. You can hardly picture a politician just saying “oh right, I was liking porn, my bad.”

Either way, we’ll know soon enough.