After a bizarre Donald Trump speech in Ohio on Wednesday left political observers scratching their heads, a new report from a popular news and gossip site, alleging that Trump may be abusing diet drugs, could shed some light on what experts say was the Republican candidate’s best chance to inflict political damage on his Democratic foe, Hillary Clinton.
But, the political experts say, Trump not only blew that opportunity but in the process, hurt his own efforts to make up ground on Clinton in the race for the White House — a race in which, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll, Trump trails badly, by about 13 percentage points.
— (((John Heaner))) (@JohnHeaner) July 7, 2016
In the speech, rather than focus on attacking Clinton over Tuesday’s statement by FBI Director James Comey calling the former Secretary of State “extremely careless” in her use of a private email server during her time in office, Trump chose to defend one of the most controversial and damaging incidents of his controversy-ridden campaign — his Twitter posting of an anti-Semitic image taken from a white supremacist online message board.
The Tweet was deleted two hours after appearing on Trump’s Twitter account, but Trump devoted a portion of his speech Wednesday to defending the Tweet and insisting that it should not have been removed.
Watch highlights of Trump’s Wednesday speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the video below via Cincinnati.com.
“It was a striking display of self-sabotage from a presumptive presidential nominee and underscored the limitations of Mr. Trump’s scattershot approach during the Republican primaries,” wrote the New York Times on Wednesday. “Not to mention how difficult he often makes it for his campaign team to control him.”
In the same speech, Donald Trump also emphatically defended his praise of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein who, according to Trump, excelled at “killing terrorists” despite being “a bad guy.”
“The question must be asked, is Trump so unwilling to make life easier for himself?” The Huffington Post wrote, also on Wednesday. “As the campaign gods give him a glorious opening to attack Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server, he seems content to wade back into his own s*** storms.”
Watch a full replay of the Donald Trump Cincinnati speech in the video below.
According to a report on July 1 by the news and gossip site Gawker, there may be an explanation for what political analysts have considered to be inexplicable behavior by Donald Trump — the candidate, the Gawker story alleges, may be under the influence of a powerful, amphetamine-like diet drug that has been described as “cheap speed.”
Reports of Trump’s diet-drug abuse first surfaced in 1992, when an investigative report in Spy Magazine alleged that Trump, at that time, was a regular user of the drug Tenuate Dospan, whose side effects include “confusions” and “hallucinations.”
A 1993 biography of Trump, Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump by Harry Hurt III, also alleged that Trump’s use of the drug accounted for the real estate mogul’s “mood swings.”
But according to last week’s Gawker report, Trump — more than two decades later — is on to a different drug.
“According to our source, the Donald Trump of today is on a diet drug called phentermine—and has been since at least April of 2014,” Gawker reported.
“While the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that most people take phentermine for a month or so at a time, since the drug is addictive, Trump has supposedly been taking it continuously for over two years.”
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The Trump campaign would not comment to Gawker on the report of Donald Trump taking the drug, but side effects of phentermine are reported to include “Trouble with thinking, speaking, or walking,” a “false or unusual sense of well-being,” and “confusion,” among others.
Donald Trump, in an interview last November with People, admitted that he rarely eats while campaigning, but attribute his lowered appetite to the emotional rush of speaking before large crowds, rather than to drugs.
[Photo by David Zalubowski /Associated Press]