Donald Trump Mick Mulvaney Cough

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA) Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Trump kicks chief of staff out of Oval Office for coughing during interview

Trump clearly wasn't thrilled with his chief of staff coughing.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Jun 17, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 10:29 am CDT

President Donald Trump ordered acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to leave the Oval Office during a television interview because he coughed mid-way through the president’s answer to a question.

The exchange was captured during an interview the president did with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

During the interview, Stephanopoulos was asking the president about his finances, and during Trump’s answer it appears Mulvaney coughed.

That prompted a clearly agitated Trump to tell his acting chief of staff to leave the room.

“Let’s do that over, he’s coughing in the middle of my answer,” the president said, adding: “I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that… If you’re going to cough, please leave the room. You just can’t–you just can’t cough.”

Trump then shook his head and muttered “boy, oh boy.”

Trump immediately asks if the answer can be re-shot, perhaps worried about the optics and sound, given his background in reality TV. The camera crew replies that they’ll re-shoot the answer from a different angle.

However, the president is also reportedly a germaphobe, so perhaps he simply didn’t want Mulvaney coughing in the same room as him.


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*First Published: Jun 17, 2019, 8:29 am CDT