Or, as it’s known in the White House, ‘executive time’
If you’d been suspecting that Donald Trump’s daily routine mostly consists of walking around the Oval Office, occasionally bumping into tables and wondering when he’ll be allowed to go and have a lie down, you’re not that far off. Axiom has got hold of Trump’s private schedules for the last three months, and found that about 60 percent of his schedule is given over to that nebulous not-a-real-activity ‘executive time’.
There’s never been a strict definition of executive time – an idea thought up by Trump’s former Chief of Staff John Kelly, who according to Bob Woodward’s book Fear thought Trump was an “idiot” with the international affairs knowledge of an 11-year-old, to mollify Trump’s dislike of rigid scheduling – but of the 502 hours and 55 minutes of scheduled time between 7 November 2018 and 1 February 2019, Trump spent 297 hours and 15 minutes on on it.
Every day, Trump kicks off with three hours of executive time between 8am and 11am, a period generally understood to be when Trump pores over TV news and newspapers and ringing aides, friends and confidantes about his coverage.
The schedule says he’s in the Oval Office, but six sources say that that never happens – instead he’s kicking about in the White House residence. On some days executive time expands to fill the whole day, like the day after the midterm results when seven hours was allotted to executive time.