Several hosts on Donald Trump’s favorite news network saw no problem with the president spending roughly 60 percent of his workday in “executive time,” which translates as hours in the White House’s private residence devoted to watching TV, tweeting and making phone calls.
The leaked private schedules sparked immediate scrutiny and criticism ― MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace lambasted the president for not doing “much of anything.” But Fox News hosts rushed to Trump’s defense on Monday and Tuesday, according to video compiled by Media Matters.
The documents, published by Axios on Sunday, detail Trump’s daily activities since the midterm elections. They show that he has passed large portions of his day not in briefings or scheduled meetings, but in unstructured time during which he can obsess over his press coverage, among other things. The documents indicate that Trump has also used “executive time” to hold private meetings with officials and speak on the phone with other government leaders. Axios wrote that these conversations don’t appear on the president’s published schedules to keep them hidden from most White House staffers.
That all sounded good to the folks on Fox News.
“To me, it sounds like he’s sitting in the residence doing similar work that he might be doing in the Oval Office,” Martha MacCallum said. “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.”
“Listen, whatever the president needs to be president is fine,” said Jesse Watters. “He came from an unstructured atmosphere.”
“This does show how little they understand his skill set,” Greg Gutfeld said of Trump’s critics.
They echoed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ defense of Trump’s schedules. On Sunday, Sanders said the format “allow[s] for a more creative environment that has helped make him the most productive President in modern history.”
Take a look at a roundup of Trump’s defenders in the video above.