Over the last few months, many journalists have reported about President Trump's appetite for watching "the shows" during the day. First reported by New York Times, President Trump is often powered throughout his daily routine by long spells of cable news and a hefty consumption of Diet Cokes. The President typically wakes early in the morning and watches friendly "Fox & Friends" and then flips between CNN and MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Trump, who is a television producer at heart, loves the role of central casting. His image is his precious. Cable news is said to fire the President up. It energizes his emotions and makes his ego come alive. That is why many outlets have said that the President watches anywhere between four to eight hours of TV every day.
Despite pushback by the President against these claims, on Sunday night, Jonathan Swan of Axios posted a scoop, that the Trump's daily schedule is shrinking. A big reason why, Trump's appetite for media.
"President Trump is starting his official day much later than he did in the early days of his presidency, often around 11:00 a.m., and holding far fewer meetings, according to copies of his private schedule. This is largely to meet Trump’s demands for more “Executive Time,” which almost always means TV and Twitter time alone in the residence, officials tell us.
The schedules shown to me are different than the sanitized ones released to the media and public.
The schedule says Trump has "Executive Time" in the Oval Office every day from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., but the reality is he spends that time in his residence, watching TV, making phone calls and tweeting.
Trump comes down for his first meeting of the day, which is often an intelligence briefing, at 11:00 a.m.
That's far later than George W. Bush, who typically arrived in the Oval by 6:45 a.m.
Obama worked out first thing in the morning and usually got into the Oval between 9 and 10:00 a.m, according to a former senior aide."
Take these examples of Trump's real schedule last week.
On Tuesday, Trump has his first meeting of the day with Chief of Staff John Kelly at 11:00 a.m. He then has "Executive Time" for an hour followed by an hour lunch in the private dining room. Then it's another 1 hour 15 minutes of "Executive Time" followed by a 45 minute meeting with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Then another 15 minutes of "Executive Time" before Trump takes his last meeting of the day — a 3:45 p.m. meeting with the head of Presidential Personnel Johnny DeStefano — before ending his official day at 4:15 p.m.
Other days are fairly similar, unless the president is traveling, in which case the days run longer. On Wednesday this week, for example, the president meets at 11:00 a.m. for his intelligence briefing, then has "Executive Time" until a 2:00 p.m. meeting with the Norwegian Prime Minister. His last official duty: a video recording with Hope Hicks at 4:00 p.m.
On Thursday, the president has an especially light schedule: "Policy Time" at 11:00 a.m., then "Executive Time" at 12:00 p.m., then lunch for an hour, then more "Executive Time" from 1:30 p.m.
So, what does all this mean? The President is working less and his "executive time" is growing. The problem is two-fold. First, if President Trump's main focus is how the news is covering him, his mind and thoughts cannot be fully on policies that affect the American people. He is the President of the United States, not the casting director of the Apprentice.
Second, from a biblical wisdom point, it is not wise for any man to grow idle. Over and over in the book of Proverbs, God speaks about those who are idle, lazy, or slacking. A man that is sluggard has a mind that is working faster than his body. That person shrinks their responsibilities and are always quick for excuses. The sluggard is foolish and requires supervision and direction. Finally, the sluggard is often self-absorbed. That leads to other problems likes short-sidedness and a lack of self-discipline.
Does this sound like someone you want serving as the President of the United States? At the end of the day, before sin ever entered the world, God gave Adam responsibilities. Adam was to name the animals and living beasts. He was to cultivate. Like Adam, we are to cultivate and work. Let's pray our President will go back to working harder like he was doing during the start of his term.
He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who pursues vain things lacks sense. (Proverbs 12:11)
The way of the sluggard is as a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway. (Proverbs 15:19).