Trump Tells Democrats to ‘Loosen Up and Have Fun’ as Shutdown LoomsRolling Stone — Ryan Bort
Earlier this month, someone in the White House leaked months worth of President Trump’s private daily schedules. They confirmed the obvious: Trump is lazy as hell, with unstructured “Executive Time” making up around 60 percent of his workday over the past three months. According to Axios, which obtained the schedules, Trump typically spends these ambiguous blocks of time in the White House residence, “watching TV, reading the papers, and responding to what he sees and reads by phoning aides, members of Congress, friends, administration officials and informal advisers.”
Though the White House reportedly launched an investigation into the identity of the leaker, Axios on Sunday obtained four of Trump’s schedules for the previous week. The schedules reveal that he spent around 50 percent of the four days ensconced in “Executive Time.”
Hours before the new schedules were published, Trump responded to the previous leak on Twitter. He wasn’t happy. “The media was able to get my work schedule, something very easy to do, but it should have been reported as a positive, not negative,” he wrote. “When the term Executive Time is used, I am generally working, not relaxing. In fact, I probably work more hours than almost any past President. The fact is, when I took over as President, our Country was a mess. Depleted Military, Endless Wars, a potential War with North Korea, V.A., High Taxes & too many Regulations, Border, Immigration & HealthCare problems, & much more. I had no choice but to work very long hours!”
On Monday, Trump again tweeted about his work ethic, ostensibly in response to the second schedule leak. “No president ever worked harder than me (cleaning up the mess I inherited)!” he wrote.
Trump’s schedules list “Executive Time” both in the morning and the afternoon, which, as the Washington Post points out, is probably intentional. This allows Trump and the White House staff to claim the president is working during “Executive Time” — which may be the case in the afternoon — despite the hours of “Executive Time” he spends fuming about cable news in the morning. The most telling takeaway from the schedule leaks is that, if the extensive reporting on Trump’s media-heavy morning routine is to be believed, the president rarely starts his workday before 11 a.m.
Trump basically proved this point on Monday when he tweeted a quote from Fox News host Jesse Watters minutes before tweeting about how he works harder than any president in history. “‘Fact checkers have become Fake News.’ @JesseBWaters So True!” Trump wrote, almost certainly holed up in the White House residence watching cable news. Likely in the same position a few hours later, Trump implored Democrats to “loosen up and have some fun.”
Trump is referring to what he sees as Democratic obstinance regarding border security negotiations, which — surprise — are not going well. After trying to reach a resolution over the weekend, talks have come to a stalemate over Democrats’ desire to limit the number of unauthorized immigrants who can be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Neither side has expressed much confidence a compromise will be hammered out before Friday’s deadline, after which the government will once again enter a partial shutdown. Meanwhile, Trump continues to tease the idea of declaring a national emergency, which would theoretically allow him to siphon funding earmarked for disaster relief projects led by the Army Corps of Engineers. According to the New York Times, Pentagon officials met over the weekend to discuss which projects would be drained of funding should Trump make such a declaration, as well as how to manage another shutdown, should it come to that.
Don’t worry, though. “The Country is doing well!”