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Scandal-plagued Toronto mayor loses two more aides

Chris Young / The Canadian Press via AP

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford speaking to reporters Monday, May 27, after the resignations of his two top communications aides.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's two top press aides resigned "on principle" Monday, four days after Ford fired his chief of staff amid a controversy over a video that may or may not exist purportedly showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine.

Ford confirmed the resignations of press secretary George Christopoulos and special assistant Isaac Ransom in a brief statement he sent to reporters Monday.

Ford didn't address reports by The Toronto Star that its reporters had viewed a video of someone who looks like Ford smoking from a glass pipe.

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The video, whose very existence Ford has vigorously denied, hasn't been made public. An online campaign by Gawker.com to raise money to buy the video — if it exists — showed Monday that it had reached its $200,000 goal.

"It's business as usual, and we have our executive committee tomorrow, and we're soldiering on," Ford said later in brief remarks to reporters outside his office, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Ford also hasn't said why he fired his chief of staff, Mark Towhey, last week. Towhey hasn't said why, either, but Monday on Twitter, he called Christopoulos and Ransom "honest" and "honorable.


Ford, who said Sunday that he will seek re-election next year, has been under siege ever since the Star report a week and a half ago. On his weekly radio show Sunday, Ford called the media "a bunch of maggots."

His brother Doug, a member of the City Council who co-hosts the show, chimed in that  only "80 percent of them are nasty son of a guns."

The mayor apologized Monday, saying it had been "a very stressful week for myself and my family."


Toronto mayor denies, finally, use of crack cocaine