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President Donald Trump has spent about 60 percent of his officially scheduled time over the last three months in unstructured "Executive Time," Axios reported Sunday, citing schedules leaked by a White House source.
An early riser, Trump typically spends the first five hours of his day in executive time, according to Axios. Although the private schedules list him as being in the Oval Office from 8 to 11 a.m. each day, he actually spends those hours in his residence watching TV, reading newspapers, and responding to what he sees in the news by phoning aides, members of Congress, friends, administration officials, and other advisers, the news site reported, citing six sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
"He's always calling people, talking to people," a senior White House official told Axios. "He's always up to something; it's just not what you would consider typical structure."
The news site reported that former White House chief of staff John Kelly introduced executive time into Trump's day because the president disliked being locked into a regular schedule.
Trump's first scheduled meeting of the day typically occurs at 11 or 11:30 a.m. and is often an intelligence briefing or meeting with his chief of staff, Axios reported. The news site said the 51 private schedules it obtained show that since Nov. 7, one day after the midterm elections, Trump spent about 297 hours in executive time and about 77 hours in meetings for things like policy planning, legislative strategy and video recordings.
Responding to the report, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders emailed Axios to say Trump "has a different leadership style than his predecessors and the results speak for themselves."
"While he spends much of his average day in scheduled meetings, events, and calls, there is time to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history," she said. "President Trump has ignited a booming economy with lower taxes and higher wages, established the USA as the #1 producer of oil and gas in the world, remade our judiciary, rebuilt our military, and renegotiated better trade deals. It's indisputable that our country has never been stronger than it is today under the leadership of President Trump."
Many of Trump's most prolific tweetstorms have taken place during the block set aside as executive time. He often promotes information from shows such as "Fox and Friends" during that stretch.