President Donald Trump asked Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to leave the Oval Office on Sunday after he coughed during an interview Trump held with ABC.

While Trump was speaking to ABC’s George StephanopoulosMulvaney — who is also the director of the Office of Management and Budget — was heard coughing off-camera. Trump appeared to become frustrated that his answer to one of Stephanopoulos’s questions became unclear because of the cough, thus the president asked Mulvaney to leave the room.

“Let’s do that over, he’s coughing in the middle of my answer,” said Trump of Mulvaney. “I don’t like that. You just can’t cough. If you’re gonna cough, please leave the room.”


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Strangely enough, Trump’s answer about congressional subpoenas for his financial statements and tax information seemed audible enough.


Television journalists and others quickly began commenting on how Trump, a former star of the reality show The Apprentice, seemed to want to retake his role as a TV producer, while others speculated whether Mulvaney’s cough was intentional or sarcastic, so as to avoid Trump saying something potentially incriminating. Other pundits also cited the fact that the president is known for being a germaphobe.

When Anthony Scaramucci briefly served as White House Communications director in 2017, Trump reportedly ordered him to take a penicillin shot after he developed a sore throat.

Social media also rapidly lit up with jokes about the strange incident in the Oval Office.

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