Fox News host defends Trump's 'executive time' during which he tweets, watches TV, and makes phone calls: 'It sounds a lot like work'

Fox News/YouTubeFox’s Martha MacCallum.
  • A Fox News host has defended President Donald Trump’s daily schedule by saying “it sounds a lot like work.”
  • Trump often spends up to five hours a day on “executive time,” according to a schedule leaked to Axios. The outlet said this time is spent tweeting, watching TV, and making phone calls.
  • The president spent 77 hours in official meetings, compared with almost 300 hours executive time between November 7, 2018, and February 1, 2019.
  • The White House says the set-up allows for “a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history.”

A Fox News host has defended President Donald Trump’s schedule, with large amounts of time blocked out for watching TV and tweeting, which she said “sounds a lot like work.”

On Sunday, Axios published leaked details of the president’s schedule from November 7, 2018, to February 1, 2019. It showed Trump spending up to five hours a day on “executive time,” which Axios says is time when Trump watches TV, tweets, and makes phone calls.

On Fox News’ “The Story” on Monday, host Martha MacCallum responded to the leak. “What struck me, when I read it,” she said, “was that it sounds a lot like work.”

She added: “I mean, he’s reading the papers. He does watch a lot of television; he admits that. He watches tons of news; he watches probably every cable news channel during the day, and you can make what you want of that.”

MacCallum Kurtz Foxc NewsFox News/YouTubeMacCallum and Howie Kurtz.

“But speaking to members of Congress, reacting to policy, calling people, to me it sounds like he’s sitting in the residence doing similar work to what he might be doing in the Oval Office,” she said.

MacCallum said this was the president’s own take on the modern culture of working remotely.

“I think a lot of Americans sort of understand that the lifestyle has kind of changed in the world in terms of where people do their work,” she said.

In the White House residence Trump is often watching TV, tweeting, reading the news, and making phone calls to various foreign leaders and political allies, sources told Axios.

Two days before the leak, Trump told The New York Times: “I get up early in the morning and I turn on television. And I do. But I don’t turn it on very much because I really read the papers much more than I watch the television, O.K.?”

Donald Trump state of the union 2018Win McNamee/Getty ImagesTrump arrives to deliver his State of the Union address in January 2018.

The leaked schedule shows almost 300 hours of executive time. The same period covers 77 hours of official, scheduled meetings.

Appearing alongside MacCallum, Fox’s “Media Buzz” presenter Howie Kurtz weighed in, calling the schedule “a heat-seeking missile of a leak … solely designed to embarrass Donald Trump.”

Read more: How Trump’s daily White House schedule full of ‘executive time’ compares with the schedules of Obama, Bush, and Clinton

Kurtz said: “Who cares how he runs his schedule, as long as he gets things done?”

Trump on PhoneMark Wilson/Getty ImagesTrump on the phone with the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, January 29, 2017.

Trump’s director of Oval Office Operations, Madeleine Westerhout, tweeted: “What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules. What these don’t show are the hundreds of calls and meetings @realDonaldTrump takes everyday.

“This POTUS is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history.”

The White House does publish a public version of the president’s schedule, which differs from the one obtained by Axios.

INSIDER previously reported Trump will often pick up the phone and call members of Congress in the middle of the day, especially if he has just seen their face on television.

It has also been widely reported that Trump consults with informal advisers such as Fox News host Sean Hannity.

In response to the Axios leak, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this situation allows for “a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history.”

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