Leaked private schedules reportedly show that President Trump has spent about 60 percent of the last three months on “Executive Time,” where he is either watches television, reads newspapers or responds to what he sees and reads by making phone calls to lawmakers, friends and advisers, according to leaked schedules obtained by Axios.
Axios published the schedules, which show that Trump typically spends the first five hours of his day in his residency.
“He’s always calling people, talking to people,” a senior White House official told Axios. “He’s always up to something; it’s just not what you would consider typical structure.”
This scoop goes great paired with my piece @thedailybeast on what Trump is often doing during his executive time — live-tweeting Fox News shows, which led him into a government shutdown. https://t.co/fplR76YSxu https://t.co/lYlxBD3Vm9
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) February 3, 2019
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.
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.
A new WH leak reveals Trump is *spending 60% of his schedule* on “executive time.”@alexi reports on what that involves — below is our Beat report from January documenting how Trump works less than other Presidents:https://t.co/Wnm9IWxwFBhttps://t.co/ldcaZdg2Gi pic.twitter.com/5o5zGyRMuH
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) February 3, 2019
“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.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Axios 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.
Based on interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress, the 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.