Since the day after the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump has spent around 60% of his scheduled time in unstructured “executive time,” Axios reported Sunday.
Axios cited 51 private schedules provided by an unnamed White House source that include “nearly every working day since the midterms.” During that time, the President spent 297 hours in “executive time,” a period during the day that he uses to watch TV, make phone calls and hold meetings.
According to Axios, those same schedules revealed that the President “has had about 77 hours scheduled for meetings that include policy planning, legislative strategy and video recordings.”
“He’s always calling people, talking to people,” a senior White House official told Axios. “He’s always up to something; it’s just not what you would consider typical structure.”
Noting that the private schedules it obtained do not include all of the President’s meetings since the midterms, Axios said that some meetings are listed as “executive time” to keep them hidden from West Wing staff members out of fear of possible leaks.
In one such case, a detailed schedule Axios obtained listed an interview Trump had last week with The Daily Caller, while a private, more available schedule alternatively contained a “media engagement” in that same time slot.
The outlet also said that according to the schedules it obtained, the day after the midterms, Trump’s schedule contained a 30-minute meeting with then-chief-of-staff John Kelly and more than seven hours for “executive time.”
Last year, CNN reported that the President – whose day begins at 5:30 a.m. – would often spend most of his mornings in the Yellow Oval Room in the White House residence where he skimmed the headlines of The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Washington Times as “Fox & Friends” played in the background.
On some mornings, Trump would summon select staffers to the residence to meet with him, including Kelly, Ivanka Trump and former communications director Hope Hicks.
As the day neared 12 p.m., the President would finish up his time in the residence and then head to the West Wing for a day of meetings, briefings and phone calls.
The White House has not responded to CNN’s request for comment about the report. In a statement to Axios, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: “President Trump has a different leadership style than his predecessors and the results speak for themselves.”
Madeleine Westerhout, director of Oval Office operations, blasted the leak of the White House schedules, tweeting on Sunday, “What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules. What these don’t show are the hundreds of calls and meetings @realDonaldTrump takes everyday. This POTUS is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history.”
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.