Six surprises from Trump’s TV interview

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From expelling an aide for coughing, to insisting he is treated worse than assassinated US Civil War leader Abraham Lincoln, to whether UFOs exist, President Donald Trump dropped a number of notable lines in a television interview.

The president hosted ABC News at the White House, shedding some light on his thinking as he prepares to launch his 2020 re-election campaign in Florida on Tuesday.

Coughing aide kicked out

When Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, coughed in the background of the Oval Office interview, Mr Trump became visibly upset and asked his top aide to leave the room.

“Let’s do that over, he’s coughing in the middle of my answer,” Mr Trump said. “I don’t like that, you know. I don’t like that.”

“If you’re going to cough, please leave the room,” the president added, pointing and shaking his head in disapproval. “You just can’t, you just can’t cough.”

The exchange happened as Mr Trump defended his decision not to turn over his “fantastic financial statement” to the US Senate, adding that he “might” reveal it someday.

Anthony’s take: Was Mr Mulvaney signalling to the president to be careful when talking about his tax returns? Or maybe he was choking on the president’s answer.

Whatever the reason, it’s hard to imagine the previous chief of staff, former Marine General John Kelly, putting up with such a curt dismissal.

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