If there’s one thing President Trump loves doing, it’s debasing his staff when cameras are present. Just ask former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus or Trump’s current Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, the latter of which was unceremoniously kicked out of a 20/20 interview with George Stephanopoulos for coughing while the cameras were rolling.
The offending coughing fit occurred while Trump was on a nonsensical ramble about his tax returns and how he won’t turn them over to “the Senate” although he hopes “the Senate” somehow gets their collective hands on his returns because “it’s a fantastic financial statement.”
The president only stops bragging about the “fantastic financial statement” no one is allowed to see to humiliate Mulvaney for coughing, and ultimately dismiss him from the room for causing a distraction.
“I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that,” Trump said. “If you’re going to cough, please leave the room,” Trump responded. “You just can’t, you just can’t cough. Boy, oh boy.”
Pres. Trump says he “might” turn over his “financial statement” to Congress.
“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
— ABC News (@ABC) June 17, 2019
Trump is a noted germaphobe and has been vocal about his anxiety over the various germs he picks up by constantly shaking hands, so tossing Mulvaney out of the room for coughing sounds on brand.
After the coughing quotes hit Twitter, Washington Post reporter Jackie Alemany chimed in with a quote from a 2016 Trump campaign worker. “I was told by multiple people when I came aboard to never cough or sneeze while in the presence of Trump,” she wrote. “He thinks it’s a sign of weakness and lack of control. Nobody ever recovers.”
Text from former 2016 Trump campaign staffer: “I was told by multiple people when I came aboard to never cough or sneeze while in the presence of Trump. He thinks it’s a sign of weakness and lack of control. Nobody ever recovers.” https://t.co/9CmKeoH1iu
— Jackie Alemany (@JaxAlemany) June 17, 2019
Apparently no one warned Mulvaney. Here’s another the thing: Mulvaney started coughing when Trump was practically daring his political opponents to get ahold of his tax returns. Perhaps he was trying to warn Trump to shut up, and the president was too dumb to notice that his chief of staff was trying to protect him from himself.
There are other gems in the rambling transcript from Stephanopoulos’s interview with Trump, including his answer about how much sleep he gets a night (4 to 5 hours, Trump says) and if he’s “a big breakfast guy.” Surprisingly, the president thinks the most important meal of the day is overhyped.
“Uh I’m not a breakfast guy at all, fortunately,” Trump told Stephanopoulos. “I like the lunches but the dinners is what I really like.”
Ah, yes, the dinners are where the germ and breakfast hating president truly shines.