US President Donald Trump on Sunday sought to change the perception that he spends much of his workday relaxing, as the White House hunted for the staffer responsible for an embarrassing leak of his schedule.
According to details published last week by Axios, 60% of Trump’s workday is categorized as “executive time,” meaning an unstructured period for making phone calls, reading newspapers, tweeting and watching television.
In an effort to set the record straight, Trump said such free time should be viewed as “positive, not negative.”
….The fact is, when I took over as President, our Country was a mess. Depleted Military, Endless Wars, a potential War with North Korea, V.A., High Taxes & too many Regulations, Border, Immigration & HealthCare problems, & much more. I had no choice but to work very long hours!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019
“When the term Executive Time is used, I am generally working, not relaxing,” Trump tweeted. “In fact, I probably work more hours than almost any past President.
“The fact is, when I took over as President, our Country was a mess,” Trump continued.
“Depleted Military, Endless Wars, a potential War with North Korea, V.A., High Taxes & too many Regulations, Border, Immigration & HealthCare problems, & much more.
“I had no choice but to work very long hours!” added the president, who rarely has official work before 11:00 am, according to the daily guidance issued to the media by his press office.
Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney also pushed back in defense of his boss on Sunday, telling the American TV program Meet the Press, “That executive time is on there to allow the president to prep for the next meeting, to debrief from the previous meeting,
“The phone calls start at 6:30 in the morning, and they go until 11:00 at night. So I can assure you that the gentleman is working more than what’s on that calendar.”
Trump has reportedly ordered that no stone be left unturned in the hunt for the leaker. Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Mulvaney said the White House was hoping to identify the culprit “this week.”
– with reporting by Agence France-Presse