President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning claimed he has “very little time” for watching television, his favored method of news and opinion consumption, though his public schedule has been almost empty for days.
Trump insisted in a tweet that his administration is “functioning perfectly” amid Senate Republicans’ ongoing failure to pass an Obamacare repeal bill and a marked escalation of the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which has abruptly focused on his eldest son Donald Trump Jr.
“I have very little time for watching T.V.,” he tweeted.
The W.H. is functioning perfectly, focused on HealthCare, Tax Cuts/Reform & many other things. I have very little time for watching T.V.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017
“CNN Newsroom” co-hosts John Berman and Poppy Harlow discussed the White House’s apparent disconnect from Republican lawmakers’ efforts on their show about 10 minutes before Trump posted the tweet, a juxtaposition Berman pointed out.
FWIW…we were talking about this subject (ON TV) just before the tweet https://t.co/I6rr3LDuJH
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) July 12, 2017
Far from being too busy for his cable-watching habit, Trump has turned to television for solace as his administration’s agenda vanishes into disarray, according to recent reports by the New York Times and Politico.
New York Times Magazine reporter Mark Leibovich in early June visited Trump in the West Wing and discovered the President watching a recording of “Fox and Friends” (in a May interview with Time Magazine, Trump called TiVo “one of the great inventions of all time”).
On Tuesday, unnamed officials gave Politico differing explanations for Trump’s empty schedule, which has been largely blank since the President returned on Saturday from the G20 summit in Hamburg.
One unnamed White House aide cited Trump’s upcoming trip to France and said it “makes sense” for him to take “a couple days off between the one last week and this one.”
Another unnamed official, however, told Politico that Trump has spent his increased downtime watching TV and venting about the federal investigation into whether members of his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election in his favor.