What’s Up With Donald Trump’s Sniffing?

On Wednesday morning Donald Trump addressed the nation after Iranian airstrikes against a U.S. military base in Iraq. And as he spoke, many viewers noticed something that’s become somewhat of a staple during Trump’s public remarks.

The president just can’t stop sniffing.

People have noticed Trump’s inordinate sniffing since 2016. During debates against Hillary Clinton, Trump sniffed so often that former Vermont governor Howard Dean tweeted a joke about Trump using cocaine.

Dean was kidding. But while Trump claims he’s a lifelong teetotaller, he’s been plagued by accusations of drug use. In early 2018, comedian and former Apprentice staffer Noel Casler called Trump a “speed freak” who habitually snorts Adderall. Studying Trump’s infamous “I love Hispanics” Cinco de Mayo photo, a Twitter user noticed drawers packed with boxes of a discontinued version of the decongestant Sudafed and argued it was evidence of drug abuse.

Despite allegations made on stage and social media, there’s good reason to believe that Trump’s sniffing isn’t related to drugs. Trump’s usually accused of abusing amphetamines, but his sniffing seems to pop up more when he’s required to appear subdued or read directly from a teleprompter. His January 2019 address about the border crisis is a perfect example.

And of course the aforementioned 2016 debates, which essentially turned Trump’s sniffing into a meme.

That Trump’s loud, frequent sniffs tend to occur in more somber settings lends to the idea that it could just be some kind of nervous tick. Trump is a pretty weird guy after all. He hardly walks anywhere, eats a ton of fast food and believes exercise is unnecessary. He has a bizarre phobia of stairs, can’t seem to stand like a normal person and has a bunch of other odd body language affectations. And he’s not used to staying on script when he speaks publicly. It’s possible that delivering a serious address makes him nervous, which could lead to heavier or irregular breathing. Although that doesn’t explain away slurring.

Plenty of things about Trump remain a mystery. There’s really no way to know why he sniffs, and we likely never will. Like everything else with Trump, it all depends on who and what you choose to believe about the guy, even if we can all agree it’s pretty odd.

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