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Germophobe Trump boots Mick Mulvaney for coughing over his answer about ‘fantastic’ tax returns

2019-06-17

President Trump wasn't happy with acting-Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney for coughing during his interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. (AP)

President Trump is a well-known germophobe and doesn’t like shaking hands or kissing babies.

Now we know he doesn’t like anyone coughing around him — even if it’s a not-so-subtle message to stop blabbing to nosy reporters.

Trump was in the middle of answering a question about his secret tax returns from George Stephanopolous in his blockbuster ABC News interview when someone can be heard coughing off camera.

Turns out it was White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney who was hacking up a storm.

Trump stopped halfway through his answer to ask Stephanopolous to re-film his response claiming he would love to release his “fantastic financial statement” if only his lawyers would give him the green light.

“It’s much, much better, much, much bigger than anyone,” he boasted.

He then turned to Mulvaney to remind him of his no-sickies policy.

“I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that,” Trump reportedly told the aide. “If you’re going to cough, please leave the room. You just can’t, you just can’t cough."

"Boy oh boy,” Trump added to the newsman.

“Your chief of staff,” Stephanopoulos joked.

Trump went on to restate his claim that he really wants to release his taxes so Americans can see the “phenomenal” statement.

In reality, Trump has fought tooth and nail to avoid making his returns public as presidential candidates and presidents have done for years. He is resisting a congressional subpoena to enforce a request for the returns, which the law says he must turn over.

Lost in the smoke-and-mirror answer was another question: was Mulvaney really sick or was he trying to stop Trump from a political miscue?

It’s possible the chief of staff realized Trump was making a political blunder by giving a reason why he has not released his returns instead of just avoiding giving any answer. But like countless Oscars recipients, Trump may have just ignored his cue to keep his mouth shut.