Were Donald Trump's Debate Sniffs Left Over From 80s Coke Binges?

Scream queen Howard Dean offered a theory as to why Donald Trump sniffled a great many times into the microphone during Monday night’s presidential debate: “Coke user?”

By Tuesday afternoon, Dean’s comment had more than 25,000 retweets and Trump had denied any sort of sniffling: “No, no sniffles. No. You know, the mic was very bad, but maybe it was good enough to hear breathing, but there was no sniffles. I don’t have — I have no allergy,” Trump told Fox and Friends.

So, if we take Trump at his word, he doesn’t have a cold/allergy/other physiological condition, and while the internet is rife with speculation that he has a nervous tic that manifests itself through sniffling, it’s kind of a flimsy answer.

Which means that Dean’s theory about Trump’s potential cocaine use offers food for thought — and also an unfair criticism, even if it’s directed at the insult king of politics.

Trump has said often that he’s basically straight-edge — someone who not only doesn’t do drugs but doesn’t drink nor smoke cigarettes. If The Wolf of Wall Street taught us anything, it was that the ‘80s — otherwise known as Trump’s heyday and the last time he might have been taken semi-seriously — were when cocaine was yuuuuuge in New York. Donald was a big figure in a world where the drug was prevalent.

If someone had done a lot of cocaine in the 1980s, what sorts of problems would they face some 30 years later? There are several nasal problems that could persist for years. For one, there’s “overall irritation of the nasal septum,” which can show up as anything from nosebleeds to yes, sniffing. It can change the appearance and function of the nose, making it hard to breathe and creating a wheezing, asthmatic-like inhale — which would play well with Trump’s explanation of the mic picking up his breathing. And cocaine notably causes relapses when users are stressed out.