White House says leaker about to be caught. Then new leaked copies of Trump schedule land
President Donald Trump is pushing back against criticisms that a leak of his private schedule suggests he is not working hard.
Just hours after White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney declared that he expected to identify the staffer who leaked President Donald Trump's personal schedule to the news media within the week, new copies of the president's schedule were published online.
When asked about the staffer who leaked copies of Trump's schedule from a three month period, Mulvaney said on "Fox News Sunday" that he hopes "to have a resolution on that this week."
But Axios then published more copies of Trump's schedule on Sunday, one week after their original story ran. The online publication revealed four days of the president's schedule from the previous week. Those days included about 50 percent of unstructured "Executive Time."
The newly-published schedules were consistent with the initial report that showed about 60 percent of the president's schedule consisted of "Executive Time." That report generated a wave of outrage and indignation from people who claimed the leak showed that the president was spending most of his time watching Fox News, firing off tweets or chatting on the phone.
Not so, says Trump.
On Sunday, the president posted a tweet in response to the first Axios report and explained that "Executive Time" should be "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," Trump tweeted.
He followed up with another tweet explaining that when he took office, the U.S. was such "a mess" that he "had no choice but to work very long hours!"
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When the president's private schedule was leaked, political observers painted it as an unprecedented personal betrayal by a White House staffer.
"A White House aide is weaponizing his schedules, which says a lot about how people in the White House feel about the man they work for," tweeted New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman after Axios published the leaked documents.
"What a disgraceful breach of trust to leak schedules," tweeted Trump's secretary Madeleine Westerhout. "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."
Still, on Sunday, Trump said that getting his "work schedule" was actually "very easy to do."
Mulvaney said Sunday that the leaked schedule "is not that confidential" and about 400 people get copies of it.
"It's not the content" that is upsetting, Mulvaney explained on "Fox News Sunday."
"It's the fact that someone within the White House spent three months collecting this information, which is really, really hard to do," he said.