Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has smoked crack cocaine, read a statement to the press this afternoon purporting to respond to claims published in Gawker, and followed on by the Toronto Star, that a video of him smoking crack cocaine was being offered for sale by people involved in the Toronto crack trade.
Ford, who—aside from briefly referring to the charges as "ridiculous"—has remained silent in the eight days since we published our story about his crack tape, made two claims in his remarks this afternoon:
1) "I do not use crack cocaine."
2) "Nor am I an addict of crack cocaine."
Neither of those statements is inconsistent with Rob Ford having been caught on tape smoking crack cocaine within the past six months. The fact that Rob Ford says he does not currently use crack cocaine has no bearing on his past behavior. He did not say, as one who has never smoked crack cocaine might say, "I have never smoked crack cocaine." He said he does not smoke crack cocaine, which is the sort of thing that someone who woke up this morning and decided to stop smoking crack cocaine might say, on the grounds that it's not presently untrue.
Since we know that Rob Ford used to smoke crack cocaine, and in fact most certainly did smoke crack cocaine at some point within the last six months, we can only interpret his statement claiming not to currently smoke crack cocaine as an announcement that he has decided to kick the habit.
As for his second statement: No one here has accused him of being addicted to crack cocaine. As far as we are aware, the main point of controversy in Toronto has centered on that fact of his use of crack cocaine, not on whether that use was compulsive or recreational.
But what about the video? Here's what Ford—who does not smoke crack cocaine—had to say about that: "I can't comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist."
So, to recap: Rob Ford, who was caught on video smoking crack cocaine within the last six months, says he is not a current user of crack cocaine, is not an addict of crack cocaine, and has no comment on the video that shows him smoking crack cocaine.