MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta couldn’t help but burst into laughter on Wednesday while discussing Donald Trump’s insanely light workday, which reportedly starts as late as 11:00 a.m.
During the exchange with Panetta, Matthews said it’s not the infamous 3 a.m. phone call that we have to worry about with Trump as president; it’s the 10 a.m. phone call when the Oval Office still stands empty.
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) January 11, 2018
A portion of their discussion:
MATTHEWS: Earlier this week, Axios reported that the president isn’t spending as much time in the Oval Office as most presidents do. He’s starting his official day much later than earlier presidents, around 11. This is for more, quote, executive time which means TV and Twitter time alone in the residence. What do you make? I mean, suppose — I was kidding last night. It’s not the 3:00 A.M. phone call you worry about, it’s the 10:00 A.M. phone call. Where’s the president? He doesn’t even come downstairs to meet people because he’s watching Fox and Friends and god knows what else and twittering? I don’t know. You’ve got nobody like this, I know, but go ahead.
PANETTA: You know, based on my experience, usually you set up a schedule to kind of fit the president’s rhythm and make sure that, you know, he can — he can basically do some of the things he needs to do in order to handle the responsibilities of that office, but we’re looking at a schedule that at least on paper and as reported runs from 11 to 4:15 in the Oval Office and, you know, my concern is that there are just too many issues that confront this president, any president during the day and whether or not they’ve worked out a way to ensure that the president is made aware of these issues in the middle of this kind of schedule is what concerns me.
The fact that the President of the United States – the most powerful person on the face of the earth – is still in bed watching cable news and trolling on social media at 11:00 am is unprecedented.
As Jason Easley noted a few days ago, Barack Obama would be in the Oval Office each day no later than 9 a.m., after completing his morning workout. He would often work late into the night or early-morning hours. George W. Bush typically showed up for work at 6:45 a.m.
But it’s not just previous presidents Trump fails to measure up to. Most working Americans are prepping for their lunch breaks by the time this president even decides to roll out of bed and punch in for the day.
If it has felt like the U.S. government has been asleep at the wheel for the past year, it’s because it quite literally has been.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.