Trump spends the majority of his presidency doing something called ‘executive time,’ leaked schedule reveals

White House defends president's unstructured time as allowing for 'creative environment'

Chris Riotta
New York
Monday 04 February 2019 19:00
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Donald Trump has spent nearly 60 per cent of his scheduled time in the White House over the last three months enjoying unstructured “executive time”, the president’s leaked schedule has revealed.

The daily schedule, leaked by a White House source and uploaded online by Axios, showed clear discrepancies in what the president was said to be doing with his time on paper compared to his reported reality.

While Mr Trump is listed as being in the Oval Office nearly each day from 8.00am to 11.00am, numerous reports — including the Axios story accompanying the president’s schedule, which featured six sources with direct knowledge of the president’s schedule — have said he is actually in the residency during those hours.

The president has been said to spend his early mornings watching cable news networks, calling his aides on the phone in response to his news coverage and calling members of Congress, among other activities to kick off his days.

It’s unclear whether the president’s aides are fully aware of what he’s doing during his scheduled “executive time,” with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders telling the news outlet in a statement “there is time to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history.”

A White House official who spoke anonymously to Axios also said the president was unique in his approach to scheduling and structuring the job of the presidency.

“He’s always calling people, talking to people,” the senior official said. “He’s always up to something; it’s just not what you would consider typical structure.”

The leaked schedule provides insight into the president’s daily activities over the past three months.

It sheds light on how Mr Trump has sought to govern in the wake of the 2018 midterm elections, in which Republicans lost the US House of Representatives.

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While the majority of his time is spent in unstructured “executive time,” his second-most frequent scheduled activity is meetings, followed by travel, lunch and events.

Whereas Mr Trump spent more than 297 of his 502 total scheduled hours in “executive time” over the last three month, just over 77 hours were spent in meetings with the likes of lawmakers, administration officials and others.

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