An investigation by POLITICO has found that President Donald Trump’s time spent watching cable news is many times greater than the amount of time he spends doing official work as president.
In an article published early this morning POLITICO reported that on Tuesday, “the president was slated for more than nine hours of ‘Executive Time,’ a euphemism for the unstructured time Trump spends tweeting, phoning friends and watching television.”
The political website also reported that “official meetings, policy briefings and public appearances — traditionally the daily work of being president — consumed just over three hours of his day.”
A new batch of private schedules offers fresh insight into the extent to which Trump's unscheduled time dominates his week and is shaping his presidencyhttps://t.co/zLea07OBvK
— POLITICO (@politico) October 29, 2018
Some of the president’s allies told POLITICO that it is their understanding that he uses his “executive time” to make important phone calls to congressional and world leaders.
However, past reporting has disclosed that most of the “executive time” is spent watching television and calling friends to complain about his negative media coverage.
POLITICO also reported that Trump usually doesn’t start his working day until 11 a.m. since he schedules a block of time early each morning to watch “Fox & Friends,” one of his favorite cable news shows.
“The president’s official commitments last week began no earlier than 11 a.m.. On Tuesday — in the midst of a potential serial bomber and two weeks ahead of the midterm elections — they didn’t start until 1 p.m.,” POLITICO reported.
They then added:
“This new batch of schedules obtained by POLITICO offers fresh insight into the extent to which that unscheduled time dominates Trump’s week and is shaping his presidency, allowing his whims and momentary interests to drive White House business.”
“As a freewheeling president in one of the world’s most regimented jobs, Trump appears to be redefining the nature of the role. Trump enjoys huge blocks of unscheduled time in which he can do as he pleases.”
“Trump’s demand for a White House organized to answer to his immediate impulses — the good and the bad — will emerge as a defining feature of his presidency.”
Yuval Levin, the vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center who worked in the George W. Bush White House had some interesting insights into Trump’s schedule.
“Different presidents spend their time differently and it makes sense that his schedule would reflect his preferences to some degree,” Levin said.
“But the lack of structure yields a lack of orderly decision-making and discipline that can be a huge problem given the demands of the job,” he added. “’Executive’ is the last thing I would call unstructured time.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.