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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, woke up Tuesday to find his name trending on Twitter - linked overnight to a certain video from the "Milf Hunter" series, perhaps unfairly, perhaps irrevocably.

The clip itself is just over two minutes, details of its contents mostly unprintable. It features a sectional sofa, the pornographic actress Cory Chase, her fictitious nude stepdaughter, and a very energetic young man.

Cruz, of course, is nowhere to be seen in the footage, which has been floating around the internet for more than a year. But around midnight Eastern time, someone signed into the senator's official Twitter account and clicked a little heart below the video - and thus did @tedcruz "like" porn.

By late morning, reporters were waiting outside the U.S. Capitol to question the flesh-and-blood Cruz about his online alias's handiwork, which he disavowed.

"It was a staffing issue and it was inadvertent," the senator said. "It was a mistake."

He said "a number of people" in his office had access to account - contra Jimmy Kimmel and much of the critical internet, who had assumed the senator himself clicked the heart before someone else unclicked it, after so much viral mockery.

But Cruz wouldn't name the mystery staffer, or say how they might be disciplined.

And twice that morning, reporters asked him if he himself was the liker.

"No," Cruz said quietly as he finally walked away.

Cruz has watched porn on the internet at least once, regardless of what happened on his Twitter account Monday night. He said so in his book "A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America."

It was back in the 1990s, and all very proper.

Cruz at the time was a 26-year-old law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court, which was deciding whether internet porn should be regulated. Some justices decided they first needed to see the stuff for themselves, and so the young future senator got an eyeful.

"As we watched these graphic pictures fill our screens, wide-eyed, no one said a word," Cruz wrote regarding some act involving a cantaloupe. "Except for Justice O'Connor, who lowered her head, squinted slightly, and muttered, 'Oh, my.' "

Which is exactly the same thing @KieraGorden said in the small hours of the morning more than 20 years later, when she and what seems like half the conscious online population discovered the clip of stepmother and stepdaughter and sweaty male friend beneath the senator's banner portrait.

"OH MY."

It was gone by about 2 a.m., and the senator's spokeswoman Catherine Frazier wrote shortly afterward on her own account: "The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter."

That only raised more questions, including: Reported the tweet for what? A Twitter spokeswoman said the company never comments on individual accounts, though porn is allowed on the site, with some limitations.

Even if the details of its travels into @tedcruz's column of "likes" remain a mystery, the video's provenance is fairly clear.

It published in early 2016 on the porn site Reality Kings. "Cory has not been getting along with her step daughter Kacey lately," reads the jacket blurb. They were getting along fine by the end of the film.

Then, as porn tends to, clips of the movie made their way across the internet.

Early Monday morning, they entered the endless stream of tweets on the account known as @SexuallPosts.

And about 24 hours later, the owner of that account was among the first to learn that a U.S. senator's name was listed among his contents' endorsers.

"A friend texted me. It's really pretty comical," said Kyle, who didn't want to give his last name, lest he have to explain to friends and family why he runs a few sexually explicit "marketing sites" among the dozens of Twitter accounts he owns.

Kyle didn't know more than anyone else about how and why @tedcruz liked that particular clip, which he said had been viewed more than 2 million times before Cruz was forced to publicly deny clicking on it.

Denial or not, it's been good for business.

"Follow for the Same Porn @TedCruz Watches," reads the new banner text on @SexuallPosts.

And denial or not, the senator continues to be mocked across the internet.

"Everyone on twitter after 1 a.m. on a Monday knows exactly how this whole thing works," one wag wrote after Cruz's spokeswoman blamed staff for the like. "You're foolin' nobody."

Quipped another: "Liking a porn tweet is by far the least offensive, most normal thing Ted Cruz has ever done."

Sexual prurience hasn't been a major theme of Cruz's politics over the years. But he has intersected with porn a few times since his days of Supreme Court justices and cantaloupes.

As the solicitor general for the state of Texas in 2004, Mother Jones reported, Cruz's legal team tried to defend a law banning the sale of sex toys. His office drafted a 76-page brief that argued that the government had an interest in discouraging "autonomous sex," Mother Jones wrote - and "there is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for nonmedical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship."

Some recalled the case years later, when Cruz ran unsuccessfully for president in the Republican Primary in 2016. One was his freshman-year college roommate, Craig Mazin, who tweeted: Ted Cruz thinks people don't have a right to "stimulate their genitals." I was his college roommate. This would be a new belief of his.

Another was a radio host, who prompted candidate Cruz to disavow the long-dead Texas dildo ban, and say: "What people do in their own private time with themselves is their own business and it's none of government's business."

But election business was another matter. The same year, the Cruz campaign inadvertently cast a former soft-core porn actress in an ad attacking his rival, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

The campaign killed the ad after discovering Amy Lindsay's film history, and the actress protested that she worked mainstream roles along with the occasional erotic film.

"You guys have all painted me as this big porn star, which I am not," Lindsay told The Post at the time.

Speaking of porn stars, the other big name from Tuesday's "Milf Hunter" tweet scandal was apparently one of the last to find out about her star had crossed with Cruz.

"So I hear I am trending with Ted Cruz," Cory Chase wrote on Twitter in the late morning - long after the like had been revoked. "I am literally in the dark with hardly any access to the Internet world. #OMG #hurricaneirma."

And so the actress reminded us all that, porn storms aside, there are other things going on in the world.

"This was not how I envisioned waking up this morning," Cruz told his journalist interrogators at the Capitol, and then got in a crack of his own:

"If I had known that this would trend so quickly, then perhaps we should have posted something like this during the Indiana primary."