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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.”
Pres. Trump says he “might” turn over his “financial statement” to Congress.— ABC News (@ABC) June 17, 2019
“I hope they get it, because it’s a fantastic financial statement,” he tells @GStephanopoulos in the Oval Office. https://t.co/8q0FwFD9qt pic.twitter.com/fw1tIc0vxO
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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Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).