Rob Ford storms out on drug-use questions
Matt Lauer interviews Mayor Rob Ford on the Toronto Show on Tuesday.
Mayor Rob Ford stormed out of a City Hall press conference Tuesday when he was asked whether he’s done any illegal drugs since November.
Hours after sitting down for a live interview Tuesday with NBC’s Today show and host Matt Lauer, Ford held a press conference about his trip this week to the Big City Mayors’ Caucus in Ottawa and refused to clarify whether he’s done illegal drugs in the last three months.
A clearly angry Ford refused to answer.
“Any other questions?” he asked before leaving the press conference as the questions continued.
“Don’t be jealous because I do an interview with an American station.”
The interview with Lauer came just over three months after Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine and embarked on a blitz of interviews with a handful of American and Canadian networks. In the interview, Ford dodged a “point blank” question from Lauer about whether he has used crack cocaine or any other illegal drugs since they last spoke on Nov. 18.
“I don’t use illegal drugs, I experimented with them probably a year ago,” Ford told Lauer. “I don’t use drugs and we’re in great shape.”
As he walked away from reporters at City Hall, Ford claimed he said “no” when asked if he’s done drugs since the fall.
“You don’t understand the ‘n’ or the ‘o,’ I’m not quite sure,” he said.
Also during the Today interview, Ford flatly denied he was still “drinking heavily on occasion.”
“No, not at all,” he said. “Have I had a drink? Yes, I have but not to the point of some of the episodes before. You know what, that’s past me and we’re moving on. I just can’t wait for the campaign.”
Lauer then brought up the YouTube video of a “clearly inebriated” Ford ranting in Jamaican patois in the Steak Queen restaurant.
“You know what, I’ve been brought up with a lot of Jamaican friends and we went out and, yeah, that’s what I mean, I drank and I enjoyed myself,” Ford said. “I can’t remember what night it was. You know what, Matt, maybe you’re perfect but I’m not. We’re moving on in a positive direction and we’re moving forward.”
Asked what changes he’s made since November, Ford said he’s “going to the gym every day, down a few pounds and just going from door-to-door campaigning hard.”
“The election is on Oct. 27 and we’re going to win, I just can’t wait,” he said.
Despite being stripped of most of his powers by council last fall, Ford told Lauer he has “absolutely” remained effective in the job as mayor.
“I led the charge in getting the power back on in the city,” he said, referencing the December ice storm.
“We’re on fire. We’re doing a great job.”