On private daily schedules covering nearly every weekday of the past three months, the majority of President Donald Trump’s working hours are described as unstructured “executive time,” Axios reported Sunday.
An unnamed White House source provided Axios with the private schedules, which under normal circumstances are available to West Wing staff but not the public or reporters. “Executive time” covers a few different tasks, according to past reports on the President’s habits: Watching television, tweeting, making phone calls and reading.
Reporters have detailed Trump’s executive time before. On a Tuesday in October of last year, Politico reported based on a leaked schedule that Trump had set aside nine hours for executive time and just three hours for meetings, briefings and appearances.
The schedules leaked to Axios show that trend on a much larger scale. Since Nov. 7 of last year, based on 51 private schedules the website obtained from its source, Trump spent 297 hours in executive time versus 77 hours in meetings for “policy planning, legislative strategy and video recordings,” in Axios’ words.
While the schedules recorded Trump as taking his executive time in the Oval Office from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., six unnamed sources “with direct knowledge” told Axios Trump was actually in his residence during those morning hours.
Axios cautioned that “executive time” can include meetings that Trump might simply want to shield from prying eyes who have access to his schedule — a meeting with Herman Cain, for example — and that “many” of Trump’s meetings are “spur of the moment” and thus not reflected on the leaked schedules.
But the difference between Trump’s largely unstructured schedules and other Presidents’ action-packed agendas is dramatic.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Axios in a response to the report that “President Trump has a different leadership style than his predecessors and the results speak for themselves.”
“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,” Sanders said.
She added: “It’s indisputable that our country has never been stronger than it is today under the leadership of President Trump.”