He’s very VERY busy watching tv

Jonathan Swan at Axios lets us in on a secret: Trump is spending most of his time at home watching tv and talking on the phone. He doesn’t get to the office until 11 in the morning.

Trump’s days in the Oval Office are relatively short – from around 11am to 6pm, then he’s back to the residence. During that time he usually has a meeting or two, but spends a good deal of time making phone calls and watching cable news in the dining room adjoining the Oval. Then he’s back to the residence for more phone calls and more TV.

Take these random examples from this week’s real schedule:

  • On Tuesday, Trump has his first meeting of the day with Chief of Staff John Kelly at 11am. He then has “Executive Time” for an hour followed by an hour lunch in the private dining room. Then it’s another 1 hour 15 minutes of “Executive Time” followed by a 45 minute meeting with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Then another 15 minutes of “Executive Time” before Trump takes his last meeting of the day — a 3:45pm meeting with the head of Presidential Personnel Johnny DeStefano — before ending his official day at 4:15pm.
  • Other days are fairly similar, unless the president is traveling, in which case the days run longer. On Wednesday this week, for example, the president meets at 11am for his intelligence briefing, then has “Executive Time” until a 2pm meeting with the Norwegian Prime Minister. His last official duty: a video recording with Hope Hicks at 4pm.
  • On Thursday, the president has an especially light schedule: “Policy Time” at 11am, then “Executive Time” at 12pm, then lunch for an hour, then more “Executive Time” from 1:30pm.

I suppose we can be glad that he’s not doing much, because what he does do is bad.

Aides say Trump is always doing something — he’s a whirl of activity and some aides wish he would sleep more — but his time in the residence is unstructured and undisciplined. He’s calling people, watching TV, tweeting, and generally taking the same loose, improvisational approach to being president that he took to running the Trump Organization for so many years. Old habits die hard.

Watching tv and tweeting aren’t really a core part of the job of being president, though, plus watching tv isn’t really “doing something” or part of a “whirl of activity.”

The Post has more.

the reason Swan’s scoop paints such a bleak picture of Trump is because it suggests he’s not particularly interested in the official duties of being president. Whatever you think about Trump’s policies or his fitness for the job, the job requires one to be fully engaged, to be processing information (preferably from sources other than cable news), and to always be, for lack of a better word, on. The idea that Trump doesn’t take his daily intelligence briefing until 11 a.m. is shocking just by itself. And whoever leaked his official schedules to Swan seems to be concerned that Trump just isn’t up to the job right now.

“Right now” meaning “in this particular lifetime.”

It also is completely counter to Trump’s brand and the promises he made on the campaign trail. Trump said he wouldn’t really take time off as president. “I would rarely leave the White House, because there’s so much work to be done,” he told the Hill newspaper in June 2015.

Plus he kept telling us Clinton didn’t have the “stamina.” He rode in a golf cart when all the other European heads of state walked, but he’s the Stamina guy. Or as it turns out, not.

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