Two words describe how President Donald Trump spent about 60% of his officially scheduled time in the three months since the midterms:
That’s according to a report from Axios on Sunday that cited Trump’s private schedule, which was leaked by a White House source.
So what is “executive time” exactly?
It’s time the president reportedly spends watching TV, reading the papers, and bouncing what he sees and reads off friends, aides, members of Congress, officials, etc. It’s also a time for firing off some of his more epic tweetstorms.
Executive time supposedly was introduced by former White House chief of staff John Kelly because Trump didn’t want to be locked into a regular schedule.
Here’s an Axios graphic on what January’s schedule looked like. Orange is executive time, while the rest is designated as travel, meetings, events, etc.:
Chris Whipple, author and student of presidential schedules, says how Trump spends his days is another example of his unique presidency. “The most important asset in any presidency is the president’s time,” he told Axios. “And Trump is a guy who gives new meaning to the notion of an unstructured presidency.”
Trump’s personal secretary Madeleine Westerhout wasn’t pleased that the schedules got out, according to her Twitter feed:
What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules. What these don’t show are the hundreds of calls and meetings @realDonaldTrump takes everyday. This POTUS is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history. https://t.co/n1HrxmCsiB
— Madeleine Westerhout (@madwest45) February 3, 2019
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders explained what the designation is all about in an emailed statement to Axios.
“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 said.