Several portions of President Donald Trump’s interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos have made headlines over the past week and over the weekend.
One moment in particular seems to highlight his alleged narcissism, and how he treats his cabinet members that dare to interfere with his spotlight.
While fielding questions about his financial statements and tax returns, Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, had the audacity to cough. Trump at first asked to re-do the question, which isn’t necessarily a problematic thing to request.
“Let’s do that over. He’s coughing in the middle of my answer,” Trump said while pointing at Mulvaney, per reporting from CNN.
Stephanopoulos agreed to do so. But Trump had to go further — and that’s where things seemingly take a turn for the worse.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) June 17, 2019
The president acts incredulous toward Mulvaney, suggesting it angers him greatly when a staff member makes a small stir during a television interview. It was enough for Trump to produce a small rant over.
“I don’t like that, you know, I don’t like that,” Trump said.
It’s “your chief of staff,” Stephanopoulos pointed out.
Trump went on. “If you’re going to cough, please leave the room,” he said. “You just can’t, you just can’t cough. Boy, oh boy,”
He then asked Stephanopoulos if he wanted to do the segment on his financial records “a little differently” in their second take.
Trump has apparently felt humiliation by Mulvaney coughing during his interview. Although it wasn’t a live event and the president could easily have resolved the incident with a simple ask of whether he should answer the question again, Trump took a different route, “returning” the transgression back by seeking to embarrass and chastise whoever had the gall to cough, even if it was his chief of staff.
“There is simply no limit to which he would go to protect his own inflated self-image,” Dr. Bandy Lee explained in a previous interview published by HillReporter.com in January.
At the time, Lee also pointed out at the time that small incidents like these could indicate Trump has other “mental challenges” that could be a larger problem, wherein he could “use his powers as president to take unpredictable, extreme, and potentially dangerous measures” in other, more serious situations.