President Donald Trump may insist that he has very little time to watch television due to the many hours he supposedly devotes to reading "documents," but copies of his private schedule—viewed by Axios on Sunday—reveal that he has carved out a three-hour block at the beginning of every day for what is loftily termed "Executive Time," which consists mostly of TV and Twitter.
"Trump could sleep 24/7 and his Cabinet and regulatory appointees would continue to the wrecking of America."
—John Nichols, The Nation
"Trump is starting his official day much later than he did in the early days of his presidency, often around 11am, and holding far fewer meetings," reports Axios's Jonathan Swan. "The schedule says Trump has 'Executive Time' in the Oval Office every day from 8am to 11am, but the reality is he spends that time in his residence, watching TV, making phone calls, and tweeting. Trump comes down for his first meeting of the day, which is often an intelligence briefing, at 11am."
Trump's tweeting and the TV-watching doesn't stop there. In fact, Swan notes, generous chunks of "Executive Time" are sprinkled throughout each day—before meetings, after meetings, and just before the end of the workday, which for this president is around 6pm. (These, it should be noted, are days that Trump is not at one of his private clubs playing golf.)
At that point, Trump is "back to the residence for more phone calls and more TV."
Philip Bump of the Washington Post provides a bullet-point summary of one of Trump's Tuesdays, as reported by Swan.
The term "Executive Time" quickly sparked a flood of reaction on Twitter, with some poking fun at its euphemistic tone.
"In college I used to call those moments when I got high and watched movies 'Executive Time,'" joked The Daily Beast's Sam Stein.
Others, though, took a more serious angle, highlighting the fact that while Trump appears to devote a shrinkingly small amount of time to working, the White House and congressional Republicans are looking to "impose more onerous work requirements" on Medicaid recipients. (As the Kaiser Family Foundation observed in a recent analysis, the majority of Medicaid recipients already have jobs.)
And while Trump may have a light work schedule that contributes little to his administration's right-wing agenda, the president's "minions rise early and stay up late," The Nation's John Nichols notes.
"Trump could sleep 24/7 and his Cabinet and regulatory appointees would continue the wrecking of America," Nichols concluded.