A defiant Mayor Rob Ford brushed aside questions about a new claim Thursday that he knew the whereabouts of an alleged crack cocaine video in another chaotic day that saw two more aides leave.
As the firestorm continued to rage, Ford said he’s staying put.
“I’m not stepping aside,” Ford said late Thursday.
“I’m running in the next election. Things are doing great and we’re doing fine.”
Repeatedly asked about the allegations, Ford simply said: “Anything else? Anything else”.
That left his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, to denounce a Toronto Star report — it did not name its sources — that alleged the mayor told senior aides not to worry about the video purportedly showing him smoking crack because he knew where it was.
“This is another false accusation. This is the Toronto Star trying to keep the story alive,” Coun. Ford said.
“In my opinion, we have a disgruntled employee, ex-employee I should say, that obviously is upset that’s thrown these false accusations out.”
Ford had already parted ways with three key staff members — his chief of staff and two press aides — since the scandal erupted two weeks ago. The latest departures brought the number to five.
Earlier, Ford elbowed his way through a crush of media as he entered city hall. As reporters attempted to get him to respond, he said only “move!” as he pushed into his office.
In a sign of the tension outside the mayor’s “fishbowl” office, every glimpse of the mayor was accompanied by the clacking roar of camera shutters.
At one point, reporters rushed after a Ford aide thinking he had been fired. He was only going to the washroom.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. website Gawker and the Star said they had seen cellphone video made by a drug dealer that apparently showed Ford smoking crack cocaine.
The reports have not been independently verified and the Star itself has said it could not vouch for its authenticity. Gawker has raised $200,000 to try to buy the video.
According to latest Star report, sources said Ford told alarmed senior aides a day after the scandal erupted that he knew where the video was, and named apartments at a west-end complex.