President Trump understands that when you are taping an interview and something goes wrong you’re allowed to start over–well, for Democrats but not Trump. ABC News broadcast a taped interview with Trump Sunday night in which an annoyed President Trump ordered his loudly coughing Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney out of the Oval Office during his interview with former President Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos. ABC made sure to include the segment in its broadcast rather than showing the courtesy of an edit and do-over on his answer that was coughed over.
Pres. Trump says he “might” turn over his “financial statement” to Congress.
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) June 17, 2019
TRUMP: No, at some point, I might, but at some point I hope they get it because it’s a financ–, it’s a fantastic financial statement. It’s a fantastic financial statement. And let’s do that over, he’s coughing in the middle of my answer.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah. Okay.
TRUMP: I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your chief of staff.
TRUMP: If you’re going to cough, please leave the room. You just can’t, you just can’t cough. Boy oh boy. Okay, do you want to do that a little differently than uhh–
(Off camera ABC producer: “Yeah. We just changed the angle.)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yep, thank you.
TRUMP: So at some point–so at some point, I look forward to, frankly, I’d like to have people see my financial statement because it’s phenomenal–
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s up to you–
TRUMP: No, it’s not up to me. It’s up to lawyers, it’s up to everything else. But they’re asking for things that they should never be asking for, that they’ve never asked another president for. They want to go through every deal that they’ve ever done, they’ve–what they’re doing is a disgrace.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know other presidents have turned over their tax returns.
TRUMP: They’re trying to do: step, step, step. They want to keep it going as long as possible to try to demean and hurt as much as possible so they can possibly win the presidential election. They’re not going to win the presidential election. Nobody’s done, in two and a half years, the job I’ve done as president. The economy is one of the best in the history of our country. Taxes are lower than they’ve been, almost ever, almost ever, certainly in the last fifty years. We’ve done a job with the vets. We’ve done a job with just about everything, even Obamacare, it was almost terminated, except for one vote by John McCain, but it was almost terminated. If it would’ve been terminated, we would have great–
Right away the Blue Check Media piled on Trump:
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) June 17, 2019
Mulvaney coughs and Trump gets upset —
TRUMP: He’s coughing in the middle of my answer
ABC: Yeah ok
TRUMP: I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that
ABC: Your chief of staff…
TRUMP: If you’re going to cough, please leave the room. You just can’t, you just can’t cough
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) June 17, 2019
TV-minded Trump asks Mulvaney to leave while he’s coughing TRUMP: If you’re going to cough, please leave the room. You just can’t, you just can’t cough. pic.twitter.com/zjkPXMLybM
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) June 17, 2019
My favorite part of this interview is when Trump gets super mad at his chief of staff for coughing pic.twitter.com/q1wEP2ez8E
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 17, 2019
Some in the media thought the coughing man was a cameraman.
My favorite part was when the cameraman coughed. What a malignant narcissist Trump is, he’s truly INSANE. Thanks @GStephanopoulos
— Sandi Bachom (@sandibachom) June 17, 2019
And, of course, the alleged quote from a former Trump campaign staffer:
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
(Note: This writer taped an interview with ABC’s Nightline over a decade ago. Afterward, the producer asked to tape the entire interview over because there was an alleged buzz in the audio track. That the interview was a second take because of an alleged error by ABC was not noted on the broadcast.)