How Trump's daily White House schedule full of 'executive time' compares with the schedules of Obama, Bush, and Clinton

Saul Loeb/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump.
  • President Donald Trump is perhaps the most unorthodox commander in chief in modern US history, and this even appears to extend to how he schedules each day.
  • According to a recent analysis from Axios, based on months of leaked private scheduling, roughly 60% of Trump’s time is unstructured.
  • How presidents schedule each day can tell you a lot about their approach to leadership by revealing what they tend to prioritise.

Every president in US history has taken a different approach to what many would describe as the most difficult job in the world.

How presidents schedule each day can tell you a lot about their personality, their approach to policy, and the task of leading the country more generally.

Here’s a look at the daily White House schedules of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.


Read more:
A leaked schedule shows Trump reportedly spends up to five hours a day on ‘executive time,’ and he doesn’t hold his first official meetings until the middle of the day

Read more: Trump said ‘you have to get rid of’ the Russia probe and parroted a Kremlin talking point in a wide-ranging interview


Former President Bill Clinton typically started his days around 9 a.m., meeting his chief of staff in the Oval Office.

Getty ImagesFormer national security adviser Anthony Lake, left, briefs former President Bill Clinton, center, and former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta on October 11, 1994.


Source:
Axios


Clinton would also frequently kick off the day with a long early-morning jog, sometimes to McDonald’s.

Cynthia Johnson/Getty ImagesClinton having soft drink after jogging to McDonald’s on November 15, 1992.


Source:
INSIDER


Typically, Clinton spent most of his day in the Oval Office, reading policy briefings, meeting with staff, and making phone calls.

Ralph Alswang/Getty ImagesClinton speaks with former Russian President Boris Yeltsin on February 27, 1997.


Source:
Axios


Clinton was known for his lack of punctuality. He was apparently fairly unpredictable and quite a night owl, but still had a lot of structure to most of his days in the White House. He’d work long days and sleep about five hours a night.

Jeffrey Markowitz/Getty ImagesClinton working late in the Oval Office on March 18, 1993.

Source:The New York Times;

Axios


Former President George W. Bush lived by a very strict schedule, waking up at roughly 5:15 a.m. most days.

Eric Draper/Getty ImagesFormer President George W. Bush holds a morning discussion about the latest developments in China with former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice on April 11, 2001.


Source:
Axios


Normally, Bush would start off his day drinking coffee and catching up on the news with former first lady Laura Bush.

Eric Draper/Getty Images


Source:
Axios


Bush tried to arrive at the Oval Office by 6:45 a.m. most days and typically had his first meeting by 8:15 a.m.

Getty ImagesFormer Vice President Cheney and Bush.


Source:
Axios


Bush would finish the workday early in the evening, around 5:30 or 6, and then use the rest of his day to work out, eat dinner, and catch up on any briefing materials. He was typically in bed by 9 p.m.

Getty Images


Source:
Axios


Former President Barack Obama had a strict schedule like Bush but was also known to work extremely late, much like Clinton.

Astrid Riecken/Getty ImagesFormer President Barack Obama.


Source:
Axios


Most days, Obama headed to the Oval Office around 9 a.m. and usually had six meetings scheduled throughout the workday in addition to intelligence and economy briefings.

Pete Souza/Getty ImagesObama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in on January 21, 2009.


Source:
Axios


Obama would wake up early and start his day with a workout.

Brendan Smialowski/Getty ImagesPresident Barack Obama during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 9, 2012.


Source:
INSIDER


President Donald Trump’s daily schedule differs significantly from his predecessors. A recent analysis of months of Trump’s private schedule, which was leaked, suggests roughly 60% of his time is unstructured.


Source:
Axios


According to the analysis, Trump typically wakes up early — around 6 a.m. — and spends the first five hours of his day in unstructured “executive time.”

Saul Loeb/Getty Images


Source:
Axios


The White House schedule places Trump in the Oval Office from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., but the president is rarely actually in his office during that time, according to what sources told Axios. Instead, Trump reportedly spends that time in the residence tweeting, watching television, making phone calls, and reading the news.

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesTrump in the Oval Office.


Source:
Axios


Trump’s first official meeting of the day, usually an intelligence briefing, is typically around 11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.

Saul Loeb/Getty ImagesNational security adviser John Bolton and Trump.


Source:
Axios


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s unorthodox schedule. In a statement to Axios, she said, “President Trump has a different leadership style than his predecessors and the results speak for themselves.”

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesWhite House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.


Source:
Axios


Sanders added, “While he spends much of his average day in scheduled meetings, events, and calls, there is time to allow for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history.”


Source:
Axios


Sanders also said Trump’s morning is usually a mix of Oval Office and residence time.


Source:
Axios


Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal” appears to offer some insight into why he seemingly prefers less structure in his day. He wrote, “Most people are surprised by the way I work. I play it very loose. I don’t carry a briefcase. I try not to schedule too many meetings. I leave my door open. You can’t be imaginative or entrepreneurial if you’ve got too much structure. I prefer to come to work each day and just see what develops.”

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesTrump before delivering his State of the Union address in January 2018.


Source:
Penguin Random House

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