Three month’s worth of President Donald Trump’s daily schedule was released by a White House staffer to the news outlet Axios, which reported that up to 60 percent of the commander in chief’s time is slotted as ‘executive time’ but a deeper look at those periods reveals that much of the vague listing refers to viewing television, specifically Fox News.
Trump usually spends the first 5 hours of each day watching TV, reading newspapers, and reacting to what he sees and reads in the residence, instead of receiving official government information and working with staff in the Oval Office.
Trump has insisted he has “very little time for watching TV,” after The New York Times reported that he spends as many as four to eight hours each day watching television. The schedule leak suggests that Trump lied.
Axios retyped the entire schedule to protect its source and posted the listing online, allowing anyone to examine the largely disorganized way Trump runs the federal government, despite his claims of business experience.
Trump’s lack of time management is without recent historical precedent, according to Axios reporters who compared his schedules with former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Axios also spoke with top aides to those former presidents, who shared details about the way their bosses allocated time.
Trump’s approach to scheduling most resembles the undisciplined early days of Bill Clinton’s presidential tenure, but after his staff conducted a “time and motion” study to show where the president’s time went, days took on more structure and policy priorities got more effective.
Bush and Obama led much more organized lives in the White House, meeting regularly with top advisors and taking intelligence briefings almost every day from the beginning right up to the end.
Trump also deviated from a practice followed by the past seven presidents by rarely reading a daily intelligence brief that presents vital information from U.S. spy agencies, but that has been known for some time.
Obama, Bush and Clinton all routinely relied on government sources for information instead of listening to biased reporting but Trump’s executive time is typically spent watching Fox News, a fact easily learned by matching television schedules and date stamps on @realDonaldTrump’s Twitter feed.
Sometimes, policy decision coincide with those viewing habits and program schedules from the conservative news network, giving weight to assertions from critics who say Trump takes his orders from Sean Hannity and other Fox News personalities.
Trump previously admitted that he ordered the Justice Department to declassify documents after he was asked to do so by Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro.
The hands off approach has been defended as a more creative way of doing things but most of his major campaign promises have gone unfulfilled.
He spent little time while the GOP had congressional majorities getting Republicans or Mexico to fund the southern border wall he promised. Trump never proposed an alternative to Obamacare that would increase coverage and reduce the nation’s health costs.
Trump failed to cut funding for sanctuary cities, establish a commission on radical Islam, or ensure strong mandatory minimum sentences for criminal aliens convicted of illegal re-entry.
Trump has also broken promises to end birthright citizenship, defund Planned Parenthood, invest $550 billion in U.S. infrastructure, turn Medicaid into a block grant, provide the death penalty for killing a police officer, and push for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress.
Nothing has been done by the Trump administration to get rid of gun-free zones and Common Core education standards, ban foreign lobbyists from raising money for American elections, expand libel laws, invest $20 billion towards school choice, build a safe zone for Syrian refugees, or bring back waterboarding.
Trump proposed a budget that would cut Social Security disability programs by $72 billion in spending reductions over 10 years, and repeal the Medicaid expansion enacted under the Affordable Care Act, despite a pledge that “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”
Trump called for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States, but that has been ruled unconstitutional.
He never instructed the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator, contradicting another campaign promise.
Trump also abandoned his ‘Penny Plan,’ which would would reduce non-defense, non-safety net spending by one percent of the previous year’s total each year to cut spending outlays by almost $1 trillion.
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