Trump Defends His Laziness as a ‘Positive Thing’
President Trump on Sunday defended his use of “Executive Time,” arguing that his approach to the presidency should be taken “as a positive” after leaked schedule showed that he hardly works and spends 60 percent of his workdays watching TV and chatting with friends.
“When the term Executive Time is used, I am generally working, not relaxing. In fact, I probably work more hours than almost any past President,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
He then bizarrely claimed that he “had no choice but to work very long hours” because of the state of the country when he took office.
Trump’s defense of his work habits comes a week after Axios published copies of the president’s daily schedules, which showed that he has spent more than half of his time since the midterm elections in unscheduled “Executive Time.”
A source told the news outlet that Trump typically spends the first five hours of his day in his residency, where he is understood to be watching television, reading newspapers and making phone calls to aides, lawmakers, friends, advisers and administration officials.
Trump’s tweets on Sunday did not dispute anything in the report, other than how it was characterized by pundits.
While critics have cited the schedules as evidence of laziness or a lack of transparency, White House officials and Trump’s allies have argued that the unscheduled time does not reflect the full spectrum of work the president does on a given day.
“The stuff in the memos is not that confidential, about 400 people get that. There’s much more private schedules that I see, for example, as the chief of staff,” acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Even as the White House has aimed to downplay the significance of the leaked schedules, it has reportedly launched an internal inquiry into the source of the information.
“It’s not the content,” Mulvaney said. “It’s the fact that someone within the White House spent three months collecting this information, which is really, really hard to do.”
Mulvaney said he hopes to have a resolution “this week” on who leaked the documents.
The media was able to get my work schedule, something very easy to do, but it should have been reported as a positive, not negative. When the term Executive Time is used, I am generally working, not relaxing. In fact, I probably work more hours than almost any past President…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019
Trump has condemned leaks from within his administration, and officials have reportedly taken steps to curb the information releases.