Trump blamed his sniffling on a defective mic. We asked experts if that's valid.

Source: AP
Source: AP

During Monday's presidential debate, Trump interrupted Clinton 28 times — and a bad case of the sniffles interrupted Trump

Following the debate, Trump blamed the sniffling sound (which many attributed to a cold or cocaine) on a "defective mic." 

When Fox & Friends asked Trump on Tuesday morning about his sniffling, he continued to deny them. 

"No, no sniffles. You know, the mic was very bad, but maybe it was good enough to hear breathing," Trump said. "But no sniffles. No cold."

So was it a "very bad" mic? 

We asked an expert: "The professional audio community has largely been dismissive of the possibility of a mic problem," Frank Wells, who worked as a technical engineer on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee, for 10 years and is now an independent consultant, told Mic

"Loud nose breathing could be accentuated by mic placement, but neither the clip-on mic on his jacket nor the lectern mic appear badly positioned. Based on the quality of the audio when he was speaking — which was good — and the visuals, there's no evidence of technical problems with the microphones. The microphones were doing what microphones are designed to do, as one colleague put it."

We also asked Chris Dilday, a lead studio technician at audio engineering institute SAE, if a "mic defect" was a valid excuse for the sniffling sound. 

"That is definitely shifting blame in an unreasonable way," he said. "I think he feels like he messed up, so he's just trying to figure out a way to make it seem like it wasn't his fault. But typically if a mic is having issues, especially if the live feed is picking up that mic, then it would either be cutting in and out or giving some type of hiss or something like that. But at no point did that happen."

Consider the mic defect audited. The source of the sniffles remains elusive. 

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Melanie Ehrenkranz

Melanie is a writer covering technology and the future. She can be reached at melanie@mic.com.

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