President TrumpDonald John TrumpRob Lowe mocks Warren over Native American ancestry claims Obama health official blasts Trump's physical exam: 'No doctor can predict someone’s future health' Trump makes Native American joke about Warren campaign announcement: 'See you on the campaign TRAIL' MORE on Sunday defended his use of "Executive Time," arguing that his approach to the presidency should be taken "as a positive" after leaked schedules showed much of his workdays since the midterms have been free of scheduled commitments.
"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," Trump wrote in a tweet.
He added that he "had no choice but to work very long hours" because of the state of the country when he took office.
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. 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.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019
Trump's defense of his work habits comes a week after Axios published copies of the president's daily schedules, which showed that he has spent more than half of his time since the midterm elections in unscheduled "Executive Time."
A source told the news outlet that Trump typically spends the first five hours of his day in his residency, where he is understood to be watching television, reading newspapers and making phone calls to aides, lawmakers, friends, advisers and administration officials.
Trump's tweets on Sunday did not dispute anything in the report, other than how it was characterized by pundits.
While critics have cited the schedules as evidence of laziness or a lack of transparency, White House officials and Trump's allies have argued that the unscheduled time does not reflect the full spectrum of work the president does on a given day.
"The stuff in the memos is not that confidential, about 400 people get that. There's much more private schedules that I see, for example, as the chief of staff," acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyIvanka Trump claims president had 'zero' involvement in security clearances for her, Jared Kushner White House begins search for person who leaked president’s schedule: report On The Money: Negotiators discussing border funding lower than Trump's demand | Amazon reconsiders HQ2 move to New York City | Early IRS numbers point to smaller average refunds MORE said on "Fox News Sunday."
Even as the White House has aimed to downplay the significance of the leaked schedules, it has reportedly launched an internal inquiry into the source of the information.
"It's not the content," Mulvaney said. "It's the fact that someone within the White House spent three months collecting this information, which is really, really hard to do."
Mulvaney said he hopes to have a resolution "this week" on who leaked the documents.
Trump has condemned leaks from within his administration, and officials have reportedly taken steps to curb the information releases.