The Slatest

Trump Defends Use of “Executive Time”: “I Probably Work More Hours Than Almost Any Past President”

President Donald Trump returns to the White House after receiving his annual physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on February 8, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump returns to the White House after receiving his annual physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on February 8, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump scoffed at criticism of how he spends his work days after a leak of his schedules showed how big chunks of his days are devoted to unstructured “Executive Time,” saying the media once again got the story wrong. His extensive use of “Executive Time” should have “been reported as a positive, not a negative,” Trump wrote. When that term is used, “I am generally working, not relaxing,” Trump wrote, before adding, “I probably work more hours than almost any past President.”

The president then went on to claim he “had no choice but to work very long hours” because when he moved into the White House “our Country was a mess.”

Last week, Axios published almost all the president’s daily work schedules since the midterms showing that around 60 percent of Trump’s time had been blocked off for “Executive Time.” Trump seemed to dismiss the importance of the leak, saying that obtaining his daily schedules was “something very easy to do.” Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney also pushed that same message on NBC, dismissing the leak as really not that interesting. “That’s probably the closest thing to a public schedule that we put out,” Mulvaney said. “It’s not very sensitive. I think 400 people get that schedule. So it wasn’t that valuable of information.” Even as the administration tries to dismiss the importance of the leak, Politico reports the White House has launched an aggressive investigation to find out who was responsible for sharing the schedules.