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Donald Trump denies sniffling his way through debate, blames ‘terrible’ mic

Click to play video: 'Trump blames sniffles on ‘defective mic’'
Trump blames sniffles on ‘defective mic’
ABOVE: Trump blames sniffles on ‘defective mic’ – Sep 27, 2016

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Donald Trump has a cold. Or at least something gave him the sniffles.

The Republican nominee sniffled very loudly throughout much of the first general election debate Monday, eliciting a slew of comments and jokes on social media.

The hashtag #sniffle quickly become popular on Twitter, while some compared the audible breathing, or loud sniffing, to Al Gore’s sighing from the 2000 presidential debate. One Hillary Clinton supporter, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, took it one step further, posting on Twitter: “Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?”

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https://twitter.com/andreastonez/status/780576221574946816

https://twitter.com/bkesling/status/780577125619343360

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Republican nominee’s health or Dean’s question. Clinton did not bring it up during the debate.

On Tuesday, Trump floated the theory that debate moderators gave him a bad microphone on purpose. While on Fox and Friends, he said his mic at Monday’s debate was “terrible.”

WATCH: Trump’s sniffles drawing attention during first debate

Click to play video: 'Presidential debate: Trump’s sniffles drawing attention during first debate'
Presidential debate: Trump’s sniffles drawing attention during first debate

Trump denied there was any sniffling. He said the microphone was very bad, “but maybe it was good enough to hear breathing. But there was no sniffles.”

The GOP presidential candidate said he doesn’t have a cold or allergies.

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Trump told Fox News the microphone was going on and off and that his volume was lower than Hillary Clinton’s microphone.

WATCH: The best moments from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the presidential debate

“I wonder, was it set up that way on purpose?” he asked.

“I don’t want to believe in conspiracy theories, but it was much lower than hers.”

His campaign manager Kellyann Conway told CNN that she heard from audience members that his mic sounded off. She said that from where she sat backstage, the mic sounded fine.

Trump’s claim about the microphone is far from the first time he has suggested that outside forces have conspired against him. He has warned his supporters several times that he believed he could lose in November because the general election would be “rigged.”

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Still, Trump was less combative Monday when debate moderator Lester Holt asked the candidates if they will accept the outcome if the other wins the election.

If Clinton is victorious, Trump said, “I will absolutely support her.”

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