February 10, 2019 5:57 pm

Donald Trump defends spending 297 hours in ‘executive time,’ and 77 hours in meetings

U.S. president Donald Trump.

Photo by Olivier Douliery/ABACAPRESS.COM via AP
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U.S. President Donald Trump is defending the amount of his schedule that he spends in “executive time,” as reported by Axios last Sunday.

The online news outlet obtained Trump’s private schedule for the past three months and found that the president spent as much of 60 per cent of his hours in “executive time.”

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That’s an unstructured period — which can take up as much as seven hours in a day — that doesn’t have a set purpose. Trump has largely spent it in his White House residence, reading newspapers, watching television and responding to what he has seen.

Executive time took up nearly 300 hours in those three months, while scheduled meetings consumed approximately 77 hours, the report said.

But he has also reserved executive time for meetings that he has wanted to keep out of the West Wing, as he’s been concerned about leaks, Axios wrote.

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Such time largely makes up his mornings, and he has used them for purposes such as calls with heads of state and business people.

At one point, he used executive time for a meeting with Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain; at another, he used it for an interview with the Daily Caller website.

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Trump issued a series of tweets defending his use of executive time on Sunday.

He said the media should have reported the time as a “positive, not negative.”

In the tweets, he said he is “generally working, not relaxing” during executive time, and that, “I probably work more hours than almost any past president.”

He said he had “no choice but to work very long hours” when he became president.

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The leak of Trump’s schedule triggered a hunt for the person who released it, Politico reported Thursday.

A Trump official speaking to the website said the person responsible is likely a federal worker, not one of the president’s appointees.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday that he is “hoping to have a resolution on that this week.”

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