Donald Trump's reported TV habits would ‘get most Americans sacked’

'That would get most Americans fired from their jobs,' says Democrat lawmaker

Maya Oppenheim
Sunday 10 December 2017 12:41 GMT
Donald Trump reportedly spends up to eight hours a day in front of the television

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A Democrat lawmaker has weighed in on recent reports Donald Trump spends up to eight hours of his day in front of the TV and argued most Americans would get sacked for doing the same.

President Trump is said to begin his daily White House routine at 5.30am with the television in his master bedroom.

Don Beyer, who represents Virginia’s 8th District in Congress, lashed out at the US president for his apparent obsession with watching TV.

"According to his own aides Trump watches four - eight hours of TV every day, regularly fails to show up for work by 9-9.30 even after urging from both of his Chiefs of Staff, and spends many days golfing," Mr Beyer wrote on Twitter.

"That would get most Americans fired from their jobs."

Mr Beyer has previously criticised President Trump for golfing at one of his resorts in the midst of the Hurricane Maria recovery efforts in Puerto Rico while much of the population had no access to clean water, medical supplies, and electricity.

He cited a new report from The New York Times which carried out interviews with 60 advisers, friends and members of Congress in the attempt to a get a portrait of Mr Trump’s day-to-day routine.

According to the paper, President Trump begins the day by turning on CNN, an outlet he has routinely branded “fake news”, before swiftly switching to Fox News’ Fox & Friends. He is said to occasionally watch MSNBC’s Morning Joe programme “because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day”.

President Trump has engaged in several public rows with co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski – who used to be friends with the former property developer.

“Energised, infuriated – often a gumbo of both,” Mr Trump then turns to Twitter because “the ammunition for his Twitter war is television,” the paper reported.

Sources say the White House is governed by the rule no one touches the remote control except for the US president himself and technical staff. If he misses a news report, he is said to have a "Super TiVo" system that records hours of news footage for him so he can view it at a later date.

But sources said despite daily briefings, the president is reluctant to believe information unless it comes from his limited tight-knit "bubble" of trusted aides.

Aides told the paper they "bemoan his tenuous grasp of facts, jack-rabbit attention span and propensity for conspiracy theories."

President Trump has previously denied reports of his TV watching and said he is often too busy "reading documents."

While aboard Air Force One during his recent Asia tour, President Trump responded to fact-checking questions regarding his apparent penchant for TV by saying: "“I do not watch much television...I know they like to say - people that don’t know me - they like to say I watch television.

“People with fake sources - you know, fake reporters, fake sources. But I don’t get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents a lot.”

The latest report mirrors an unflattering expose by the paper in February which claimed Mr Trump retired to his White House residence in the early evenings to watch TV in his bathrobe.

The report, which claimed the President marked up negative news stories with a black sharpie, elicited an angry Twitter tirade from Mr Trump at the time. He suggested the publication has written “total fiction” about him and fabricated their sources.

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