New leaked private schedules reportedly show that President Trump spent 50 percent of his time from Monday to Thursday last week in “Executive Time,” where he is either watching television, reading newspapers or making phone calls to lawmakers, friends, and advisers.
According to the new batch of leaked schedules obtained by Axios, Trump spent the first three hours of his day in “Executive Time” from Monday through Wednesday last week.
Axios, citing months worth of schedules, reported last week that Trump had spent 60 percent of working hours in “Executive Time” since the midterm elections.
Since Nov. 7, the day after the midterm elections, Trump has spent around 297 hours in Executive Time, according to the 51 private schedules Axios obtained.
Chris Whipple, who studies presidential schedules, told Axios “there’s almost no [historical] parallel” for how Trump spends most of his days.
“The most important asset in any presidency is the president’s time,” Whipple added. “And Trump is a guy who gives new meaning to the notion of an unstructured presidency.”
Trump’s first meeting of the day typically doesn’t come until 11 or 11:30 a.m. and is typically an intelligence briefing or a half-hour meeting with his chief of staff, according to Axios.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Axios last week that Trump “has a different leadership style than his predecessors and the results speak for themselves.”
“While he spends much of his average day in scheduled meetings, events, and calls, there is time to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history,” she added.
New York Times reported in December of 2017 that the president watches as much as eight hours of television a day and sees the White House as a prize that must be defended with all his efforts.
The Times reports that Trump begins each day around 5:30 a.m. by turning on CNN before quickly flipping to Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” He occasionally watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because it works him up, Trump’s friends told the Times.
Trump’s favorite programs include “Fox & Friends” as well as Fox News primetime shows from Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro. Trump sometimes “hate-watches” CNN host Don Lemon, according to the report.
The Times also reports that the only people allowed to touch the remote control for the White House television are Trump and White House technical support staffers.
Trump on Sunday defended his use of “Executive Time,” saying that he is “generally working” during those hours and not “relaxing.”
“In fact, I probably work more hours than almost any past President,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
He also said that he “had no choice but to work very long hours” because of the state of the country when he took office. He did not dispute the report’s accuracy.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney revealed Sunday that the administration had opened an internal probe into the source of the schedules.
“It’s not the content,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s the fact that someone within the White House spent three months collecting this information, which is really, really hard to do.”