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Trump rebukes Mick Mulvaney for coughing during interview

Trump appears to invite interference in 2020

A visibly irritated President Trump interrupted his interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos to chastise his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for — coughing.

Mulvaney's cough is audible, albeit only faintly, but the president made it clear that it was unacceptable.

"If you're going to cough, please leave the room," Mr. Trump told his top aide, insisting on reiterating his answer for the camera. 

The rebuke came in the middle of remarks the president was making about how Congress will eventually get his "financial statement." Here is the full exchange, according to the ABC News transcript: 

TRUMP: They're after my financial statement. Now, they should be after everyone else's financial statement but, uhh, they are after, the Senate, they'd like to get my financial statement. At some point, I hope they get it--

STEPHANOPOULOS: You going to turn it over?

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 --

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.

Mr. Trump is known for becoming easily irritated with aides, and given his long history in the television world, wants to make sure everything is clear on camera. 

It was in the same interview that Mr. Trump told Stephanopoulos he would be open to taking damaging information about opponents from foreign countries, comments that stoked intense backlash. 

"I think you might want to listen, there isn't anything wrong with listening," Mr. Trump said during the interview. "If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said,] 'We have information on your opponent' — Oh, I think I'd want to hear it."

The president tweeted over the weekend that he hopes to do many more network interviews ahead of the 2020 presidential election. 

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