Cruz praises courage of US gymnasts testifying about FBI Larry Nassar investigation: ‘System needs to change’

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, thanked Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols for appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to speak out against the failures of the FBI in investigating serial abuser Larry Nassar.

The four gymnasts are among more than a hundred who have accused Nassar of molesting them under the guise of medical treatment while he worked as a doctor for USA Gymnastics and the Michigan State University. While Nassar is now in prison, a recent Justice Department inspector general’s report revealed that the FBI failed to take swift action after being notified of abuse allegations.

US OLYMPIC GYMNASTS SLAM NASSAR INVESTIGATION, ALLEGE FBI ‘TURNED A BLIND EYE,’ FALSIFIED REPORT

“I want to thank each of you for being here. Being here this morning was not easy,” Cruz said. “Each of you inspire millions across the globe. Millions look to your athletic achievements, you have all stood on the biggest stages of the world and done extraordinary things. 

“And you were able to do that through tens of thousands of hours of incredible hard work,” he continued. “And yet that work pales compared to the courage it took to come here today and to tell your story publicly.”

Maroney told the committee that she spoke to the FBI for hours, going through details of her abuse, only for an FBI employee to wait more than a year before making a report of the conversation that misrepresented her story.

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Raisman said it took 14 months for the FBI to reach out to her, despite her making repeated requests to tell her story. Biles said that reading the Inspector General’s report made her feel as if “the FBI turned a blind eye to us” and worked to protect the institutions – USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee – that enabled Nassar for years.

“The system failed you,” Cruz said.

“I want to thank you,” he continued. “I want to thank you for calling out the abuse, calling out the system that failed you, and that system needs to change. That system needs to be held accountable so that this doesn’t happen again.”

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Cruz went on say that he hopes any child currently suffering abuse sees how these gymnasts came forward, and realize that they can come forward too.

“So thank you for your courage,” he said. “It makes an enormous difference.”

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