TORONTO — 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.
The mayor sat down for a live interview earlier in the day with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today show. The interview 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.
But Ford didn’t answer 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.”
Lauer also asked Ford about his drinking. Ford flatly denied he’s still “drinking heavily on occasion.”
“No, not at all,” Ford 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.”
The U.S. host then brought up the 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, referring to the December ice storm.
“We’re on fire. We’re doing a great job.”
Later at City Hall, Ford held a press conference about his trip Wednesday to the Big City Mayors’ Caucus.
A clearly angry Ford refused to answer questions about whether he’s done illegal drugs since November.
“Any other questions?” Ford asked, before leaving the press conference as the questions continued.
“Don’t be jealous because I do an interview with an American station.”
As he walked away, Ford claimed he said “no.”
“You don’t understand the n or the o, I’m not quite sure,” he said.