US President Donald Trump has explained what the term “executive time” means, after a leak of his schedule revealed he enjoyed a lot of free time.
According to the leaked schedule, which cover almost every working day since the midterms on November 6, Mr Trump spends about 60 per cent of his day in executive time, according to Axios.
Overall, Mr Trump has spent about 297 hours in executive time in the past three months compared with only 77 hours spent in meetings.
Taking to Twitter, the President has sought to clarify what those two words mean.
“The media was able to get my work schedule, something very easy to do, but it should have been reported as a positive, not negative. When the term Executive Time is used, I am generally working, not relaxing. In fact, I probably work more hours than almost any past President,” he wrote.
“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!”
Mr Trump wakes early — often before 6am — and his schedule suggests he is in the Oval Office from 8am to 11am, but sources have told Axios that he is never usually there during those times.
Instead, he spends his morning in the executive residence (where he lives with the First Family) reading newspapers, watching TV and talking to aides, friends and other members of Congress and advisers on the phone.
But the schedule didn’t tell the full story, Axios noted.
“He’s always calling people, talking to people,” one senior White House official told Axios. “He’s always up to something; it’s just not what you would consider typical structure.”
Axios suggests Mr Trump sometimes has meetings during executive time because he doesn’t want West Wing staff to know about them and leak the details. These meetings are generally noted in a more detailed schedule only shared with a few people.
“For example, the private schedule we obtained said Trump had a “media engagement” at 4:30pm this past Wednesday. The more detailed schedule revealed it was an interview with the right-wing Daily Caller, according to a source with direct knowledge,” Axios reported.
Mr Trump has also been attacked over his work hours by former ally Ann Coulter, who described him as “lazy” and a “lunatic” during a spray with Yahoo News reporter Mike Isikoff.
“We put this lunatic in the White House for one reason,” the right-wing pundit said of Mr Trump.
She also described Mr Trump as “lazy and incompetent” during the scathing interview.
Mr Trump’s schedule was very different to his predecessors, Axios reported.
In particular, George W Bush had a tightly-packed schedule that was booked out months in advance. He would get to the Oval Office by 6.45am and had his first meetings about 8.15am.
He would finish his workday about 5.30 or 6pm.
Barack Obama would have about six meetings in a day and would usually be at the Oval Office between 9am and 6pm. He would also have evening meetings about three times a week.
Mr Obama also had unscheduled time, but this was rare and usually happened before an important event such as a foreign trip or State of the Union address.
Mr Trump’s schedule is most similar to Bill Clinton’s during his early days in office as Mr Clinton was often late and deviated from his schedule. However, he eventually settled into a routine starting with meetings about 9am and continuing well into the evening.
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.”