RUSH: In the latest effort to get Donald Trump, there is a leak to Axios, which is a website along the lines… It’s an offshoot of Politico and Vox and so forth. It’s basically some attempt at newfangled journalism where every paragraph you stop and say, “What does it mean?” Then you write another paragraph, “What is this about?” Then you write another paragraph and you say, “What’s the future?” Then you write, “Why is it important?” and so forth. It’s just a new way of presenting the news.
Apparently, “[a] White House source has leaked nearly every day of President Trump’s private schedule for the past three months,” and here’s the why-it-matters paragraph. (laughing) “Why it matters: This unusually voluminous leak gives us unprecedented visibility into how this president spends his days. The schedules, which cover nearly every working day since the midterms, show that Trump has spent around 60% of his scheduled time over the past three months in unstructured ‘Executive Time.'”
Now, that’s key. Hang on. They then go on to say, “We’ve published every page of the leaked schedules in a piece that accompanies this item” on their website. “To protect our source, we retyped the schedules in the same format that West Wing staff receives them. What the schedules show: Trump, an early riser, usually spends the first five hours of the day in Executive Time.” That’s not a positive, by the way. “Executive Time” is unspecified, unstructured. Who he’s meeting with, you don’t know.
“Each day’s schedule places Trump on location, Oval Office from 8 to 11 a.m.” But, it goes on to say here that he’s never there from 8 to 11. “Trump often wakes up before six, is never in the Oval during those hours, according to six sources with direct knowledge.” So, you see, we have a leak saying that Trump’s schedule says that he is in the Oval Office from 8 to 11 doing Executive Time. However, six different people — six different people that work for Trump — say he’s never in the Oval before 11 or 11:30.
So this story goes on to say what Trump is doing from 8 to 11 is watching Fox & Friends and other things on TV and his favorite shows and then tweeting and reacting. He may call people. But his first meeting is an intel brief, usually at 11:30 in the Oval Office, because he spends Executive Time in the residence. Let me tell you something, folks. If you lived in the White House (chuckles), spending three hours in the residence is not a bad place to be.
There’s a place to do every bit of work you can do as if you were in the Oval Office. In fact, do you want to know a dirty little secret? The Oval Office is largely ceremonial. The amount of work actually conducted there compared to, like, the Cabinet Room or other areas of the White House or even the residence is not all that much. It’s public. You can be in the West Wing and ask, “Can I see the Oval Office?” “Oh, sure. You want to pop your head in the door?” with nobody in there. That’s why there’s nothing ever on the desk in the Oval Office.
It’s the case with practically every president. If they put stuff on the desk, their papers and this stuff, it’s a photo-op. It’s a trick for media. But it’s largely ceremonial. If you have a visiting dignitary in town, “Okay, we’ll take a seat here by the fireplace, let the media in, and then we’ll kick the media out sometimes and we’ll do our meeting or what have you.” It’s largely ceremonial. Not always ceremonial, but there isn’t… Every bit of work a president does — it does not happen in the Oval Office.
And in the residence — and trust me on this, ’cause I have been there.
There is so much space in the residence to do work. You’ve got just as much media access there. You have just as much secure access to anything that you need to have access to. It’s no different than being in the Oval Office. Except that it’s private. It’s much more private than the Oval Office is. But all that being said, this is a classic bit of reporting that is primarily an exhibit of how people don’t know how Donald Trump works and how they are comparing him to every previous president and finding him coming up short or lagging behind or wanting.
Donald Trump is the kind of guy who never has structured a lot of things day to day. Donald Trump purposely leaves a schedule open because he doesn’t know what’s gonna happen day to day. He wants to leave time to deal with pop-ups. He wants to leave time to deal with things that just pop up out of nowhere that he wants to do or people need to see him about. He ran the Trump Organization that way. He wrote about it in The Art of the Deal.
The idea that he’s wasting time or avoiding the job while he’s in the residence is the attempt that’s being made here, and this term “Executive Time,” that is… They say 60% of Trump’s schedule is Executive Time. What that means from their reporting is (impression), “There’s 60% of the time we don’t know what Trump’s doing! He may just be taking naps! He may be… We don’t know what he’s doing! He may not be…” They want you to think he’s not working 60% of the time. That’s what they want you to believe.
I would hazard a guess that, as you define work — presidential work — and you compare the Trump agenda, the various things on it to the things he’s either gotten done or is trying to get done, I think he probably works as much, if not more so, than most previous presidents. The fact that he goes about it a different way from previous presidents shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. He doesn’t come from government. You talk about scheduled downtime? You talk about scheduled off time?
You talk about schedule time not to work? That’s the very definition of bureaucracies, and he is not a bureaucrat. But you look at Donald Trump’s other life before he became president, and there’s not a soul that would ever accuse Donald Trump of slacking off. Just like there’s not a soul that would ever accuse Donald Trump of white supremacy or racism or bigotry! But all of a sudden, he becomes the Republican candidate, and he becomes all of those things. Now he becomes president and becomes lazy to boot. The one thing he’s not is lazy.
The guy gets four hours sleep a night max! So we have this gigantically… “‘He’s always calling people, talking to people,’ a senior White House official told us. ‘He’s always up to something; it’s just not what you would consider typical structure.'” “He’s always up to something.” That’s the White House explaining what Executive Time is: “He’s always up to something.” Now, those of us who know Trump know exactly what that means.
He’s not resting. He’s not sleeping. He’s not slacking off. To inside-the-Beltway types, the Washington establishment types, “He’s always up to something” means, “He’s trying to lie. He’s trying to cheat. He’s trying to come up with ways to trick us. He’s trying to get out of doing things.” That’s what this means to them. If you don’t put everything you do — including every time you breathe — on your schedule, then you’re trying to hide something. You’re trying to cover something up. You’re trying to keep what you’re doing from being known.
That’s how they do their day, and that’s how they structure their schedules, and if Trump comes along and does it differently? Well, he must have been doing the same thing and is just not as good as we are at hiding it. “Since November 7, the day after the midterm elections, Trump has spent around 297 hours in Executive Time, according to the 51 private schedules [Axios has] obtained. For those same schedules, Trump has had about 77 hours scheduled for meetings that include policy planning, legislative strategy and video recordings.”
Let me tell you something else. To somebody like Trump the absolute biggest waste of time is a meeting. The most unproductive part of the day is meetings. That’s why I think Trump televises ’em. I think that’s how he keeps himself interested. I don’t know about you, you know I’ve related this to you before, but I had to do all kinds of meetings before my daily television show. And I didn’t like them. I thought they were a distraction.
But they had to be done because there were so many people involved in putting the show together that I just couldn’t go do it like I can do this. I don’t have to tell one person what I’m gonna do. I don’t have tell one person what I want to talk about, one person what I want to say. I don’t have to do one meeting, I never have had a meeting to do this show. And if I had to have meetings, I don’t know that I could last.
I think Trump is much the same way. So he has a cabinet meeting or a meeting with Democrats on immigration, bring the cameras in, A, that makes the meeting interesting. B, that’s when you perform in the meeting. That’s when the meeting can actually have some kind of value. But meetings for the sake of it, it’s what bureaucrats do. And talk to any successful, wildly successful person, they will tell you that one of the things they have to overcome is the tendency to meet.
The reason a lot of people like meetings is because they carry with them the aura of being involved. “Yeah, I had a meeting with president today. We were talking about blah, blah.” So you get to say you had a meeting, it must mean you were important enough to be invited to the meeting. So the value of the meeting is to say that you were at one. But the actual results that come from meetings, negligible, particularly when you’re talking about an alpha guy who is used to digging in and getting things done.
Do you know there’s a guy that’s written a book about presidential schedules? His name is Chris Whipple. He’s a student of presidential schedules. He wrote the book The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency. And he told us that there’s almost no historical parallel for how Donald Trump spends his days. The most important asset in every presidency is the president’s time. And Trump is a guy who gives new meaning to the notion of an unstructured presidency. I’ll relate it to something. Another reason why I think I understand this.
I have never been a specific goal oriented person because I found them limiting. I’ve had generic, big-time, massive goals, but not specific. For example, I had a goal, I want to be the most listened to radio guy. I didn’t have 25 goals before I got there. I didn’t have a goal, “Okay, I gotta become the most listened to in Pittsburgh first, most listened to in Sacramento next.” None of that. The fewer goals I had, the less limiting. You have a set of goals, an opportunity comes up, doesn’t fit with the goals that you’ve set with, you pass up the opportunity. I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity.
I always hate turning out the lights at night because I’m turning out the chance for something exciting to happen. Even if it’s 2 a.m., I hate turning out the lights. I hate admitting that there might not be anything more exciting happening. I understand this business of unstructured time. You’re waiting for things to pop up you can deal with or make things happen, whatever. Structured time is boring, it’s predictable.
Anyway, it’s just the latest salvo in the overall attempt to say Donald Trump is not qualified, Donald Trump doesn’t know how it’s done. And because Donald Trump won’t conform is why we can’t support him and why things will not get done. If Donald Trump would just conform, we might give him money for a wall, but he won’t conform. But it’s really part of the effort to portray him as square peg in a round hole. He doesn’t fit here. We don’t want him here and this is not his world. It’s all part of that effort to eventually drive him out of office.
RUSH: And there’s another possibility with this, and it is very much so that whoever these six sources are that comprise the leakers of Trump’s schedule, what do you think the odds are they’re just people that Trump doesn’t consult, that Trump does not include, and that their noses are out of joint that they’re not utilized, that they’re not in on whatever’s going on, they’re not included? And so they leak this in a fit of pique trying to embarrass Trump.
Trump’s not an idiot. He’s known that he’s got all kinds of saboteurs and leakers inside his own administration. I think Executive Time on this schedule, like 8 a.m. to 11 a., that’s when Trump’s working, that’s when Trump is working on his agenda with people that he trusts. And one of the reasons he stays in the residence, doesn’t go to the Oval Office, is he’s freezing a bunch of people out that he thinks may not be loyal. And I think they have figured it out, and so they’re gonna leak like a bunch of spoiled brat little kids because Trump is hiding things from them.
It’s a combination of all these things that explains this. But what it does not explain, what it does not mean is that Trump, A, isn’t on the job, isn’t up to the job, doesn’t want to do the job, isn’t qualified. It doesn’t mean any of that. But that’s how it’s being interpreted.