Former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean did not back off his tweeted suggestion that Donald Trump used cocaine during an interview Tuesday on MSNBC, saying "something funny was going on" with Trump’s sniffing and he should be asked if he ever had the drug habit.
Dean tweeted during Monday night’s debate that Trump may be a "coke user" after the GOP candidate sniffed numerous times.
Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) September 27, 2016
Asked by anchor Kate Snow why he made such a charge, Dean called Trump’s sniffing a "signature" of cocaine users.
"Well, you can’t make a diagnosis over the television, I would never do that, but he has some interesting—that is actually a signature of people who use cocaine," Dean said. "I’m not suggesting that Trump does, but–"
"Well, you are suggesting it, actually, in a tweet," Snow said.
"No, I’m suggesting we think about it," Dean said. "He sniffs during the presentation, which is something that users do. He also has grandiosity, which is something that accompanies that problem. He has delusions—I’m not talking about being crazy, but for example, when he told everybody it was very smart not to pay taxes and then denied he said it after he said it in front of 100 million people … It’s that he thinks somehow he’s not going to get caught. That is delusional."
Dean added, "Do I think at 70 years old he has a cocaine habit? Probably not. But, you know, it’s something that I think would be interesting to ask him and see if he ever had a problem with that."
Snow did not let off, asking if Dean was suggesting that the Republican presidential candidate should be looked into for having a coke habit.
"No, I don’t think he has a cocaine habit. Again, I don’t make any diagnosis over the television," Dean said.
He said he was "struck" by the sniffing and the earlier symptoms he summarized, but Snow said that Dean’s baseless accusations were reminiscent of the health comments Rudy Giuliani made about Hillary Clinton that her campaign called inappropriate.
Dean repeated he would never make a TV diagnosis and merely "raised the question."
"I don’t think this is a ridiculous idea," he said. "Something funny was going on with Trump tonight. Do I think it was cocaine? Probably not, but, you know, again, the sniffling, the grandiosity, the delusions, the pressured speech—you know, this guy’s already proven himself to be unstable. The question is, why is he unstable?"
Dean also said he would not delete the tweet or apologize.