Dean apologizes for 'innuendo' in Trump coke tweet
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Howard Dean apologized Friday for insinuating that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE used cocaine, arguing his remarks were meant to highlight a critique of media coverage of the businessman's presidential bid.
 
"I apologize for using innuendo. I don't think it's a good thing to do, I don't think it's the right thing to do," Dean, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.
 
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"This entire campaign has been debased by innuendo. Where was the mainstream media calling out innuendo 15 months ago when Donald Trump started running for president of the United States?" Dean continued. "That's what I want to know. Do your job."
 
Dean dove into a critique of media coverage of Trump's candidacy during the interview, also saying that the Republican presidential nominee has done far worse in his campaign.
 
"I would be very willing to apologize, not to Donald Trump, but I don't think using innuendo is a good thing," Dean said. "I would like the media of this country to apologize."
 
"We have used a double standard on Donald Trump and created Donald Trump," he said. "Why? Because his ratings are great."
 
Dean claimed that he sent his tweet linking Trump's sniffles in Monday night's debate to cocaine use "on purpose" so that he could critique media coverage of Trump's own use of innuendo.
 
The one-time presidential candidate had doubled down on his tweet in an interview with MSNBC's Kate Snow on Tuesday. David Axelrod, the former adviser to President Obama, called the tweet "nuts."
 
Dean joked at the start of his interview Friday about his status as an MSNBC contributor being put in jeopardy because of his cocaine talk involving Trump.
 
"I'm smiling because you said 'right now he's a contributor for MSNBC.' Does that mean tomorrow I may not be?" Dean asked.
 
"Of course not," Ruhle responded.
 
Later, Dean added of his critique of media coverage: "It's not about MSNBC. I'm proud to be a contributor of MSNBC, even if I may not be tomorrow."
 
Still, he maintained Friday that there is "something" going on with Trump, citing the Republican's late-night tweets going after former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who is supporting Clinton.
 
"He was tweeting at 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning about sex tapes. This guy is running for president of the United States," Dean said.
 
"People who stay up at 3 and 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning tweeting about sex tapes — these are not normal people. And there is something the matter with him and I don't know what it is," he said.