In recent days, the Trump administration was rocked by yet another leak when Axios dropped three months’ worth of the president’s daily schedules, stretching from right after the midterm elections to the beginning of February. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to defend President Donald Trump against allegations of laziness stemming from the massive blocks of unspecified “Executive Time” by resorting to some lavish — and rather outlandish — praise for the president’s behavior and performance.
She yet again resurrected the bonkers line that Trump is the most successful modern American president, although a version of that claim literally drew laughs when Trump himself presented it at the most recent United Nations General Assembly.
Still, Sanders told Axios:
‘There is time to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make [Trump] the most productive President in modern history. 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.’
Is that what we’re calling watching television for hours a day and picking fights on social media now — the product of a “more creative environment”? What has the White House turned into — a finger painting class? There’s all due respect for those actually involved in such endeavors — most of whom have no doubt accomplished much more than Trump has many days. Most of the evidence Sanders offers for her assertion of Trump’s magnificent presidency is vague, at best.
According to the schedules Axios made available thanks to a source, Trump has spent around 60 percent of his time in the last three months immersed in “Executive Time.” To be sure — as Axios notes — there’s a steady stream of meetings, calls, and so on which unfold during that time and either simply aren’t scheduled or aren’t shared with lower level staffers like the individual who leaked the available data. Still, there would need to be a lot of those calls and meetings to make up for the massive bite Trump’s penchant for egotistical laziness has taken out of the capabilities of his presidency. Judging by his other behavior, it’s reasonable to believe that that required lot doesn’t exist.
He has spent just under one-fourth of his presidency at a golf property branded with his own name — that’s not exactly the customary mark of a guy who takes this seriously.
Scholar on White House affairs Chris Whipple shared his take with Axios:
‘The most important asset in any presidency is the president’s time. And Trump is a guy who gives new meaning to the notion of an unstructured presidency.’
Trump didn’t even cover the brute basics of his job for over a month when he refused to approve any further government funding without billions for the border wall blocking off Mexico he’s long sought to put up.
Although he eventually agreed to government funding without that wall — he only stepped back until February 15, when current funding will run out and another shutdown could ensue.
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