The president is a weirdo. He will shovel Big Macs down his throat at a record pace, but he is worried about germs, you know, the things that help us build antibodies and strengthen our immune system. Logic isn’t exactly Trump’s strong-suit, but this is actually kind of preposterous. Can you imagine how he is as a father? Assuming he comes in contact with more children than Ivanka.
Now, a story from POLITICO sheds light on Trump’s germaphobia, which people began to catch on to when he became angry at Mick Mulvaney for coughing in the middle of the now infamous interview with George Stephanopoulos.
One we hadn’t yet heard of was the time that Trump stormed out of the room after Kellyanne Conway did the very same thing. According to POLITICO:
“Trump’s germaphobia can even help end intense internal arguments. After the 2016 campaign, Trump heard about a report that showed the Trump campaign had paid almost $94 million to Giles-Parscale, the company of its digital media director, Brad Parscale. Trump came down to the campaign headquarters on the 14th floor of Trump Tower to dress down Parscale, according to a campaign official familiar with the events and another person familiar with the episode. Trump demanded Parscale tell him where his money went, why so much money went through his account and how much of it he was keeping for himself.”
“David Bossie, who was deputy campaign manager in 2016, inserted himself on Parscale’s side and said the money was mostly used to pay for digital advertising and was a standard part of a campaign. Kellyanne Conway, who had been campaign manager, made similar points but then she coughed — causing Trump to go “nuts” and soon leave the area, according to one of the people.”
“At that, the argument was over, shortened by the distraction of Conway’s cough.”
That’s not all, however. Anthony Scaramucci says that Trump will physically assault you if you lick your finger before sorting through paperwork. The former communications director said this:
“If you’re standing by him, and you’re going to look at something on his desk, and you lick your index finger to open the thing to try to catch an edge on the paper, he’ll smack your hand and be like ‘What are you, disgusting?”
Another source says that you shouldn’t even try to get on Air Force One if you have a scratchy throat, because one cough can send Trump into a claustrophobic tizzy, even warranting a visit from the president’s doctor:
“Trump’s germaphobia has created challenges up in the air. Even though Air Force One is a state-of-the-art aircraft, it’s still a metal tube in the sky — a prime vector for germs due to the number of people moving through tight quarters. White House staffers avoid going near the president — and some have avoided even going on trips — if they have a cold.”
“And when someone coughs or sneezes in Trump’s presence on Air Force One, he’s been known to quickly assume the worst. “Are you sick?” he has asked, according to the person close to the White House.”
“In July 2017, during Anthony Scaramucci’s brief White House tenure, the communications director had a sore throat and was coughing on an Air Force One flight to Ohio. Trump noticed and told Ronny Jackson, the White House physician at the time, that Scaramucci wasn’t feeling well and ordered him to go check him out.”
Yet another account of Trump freaking out when a staffer coughs is what happened when Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue coughed in a meeting:
“In the Oval Office in 2017, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue coughed in a meeting and Trump was “all grossed out, but it was more joking rather than angry,” said one former senior administration official with knowledge of the incident. “He was like, ‘Ahh, you’re going to get me sick, move back.’ He kind of yelled at him, like, ‘You’re going to get me sick!’””