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

Donald TrumpPresident Donald Trump speaks during a meeting about cutting business regulations in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 17, 2018.Saul Loeb/Getty Images

  • 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 prioritize.

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

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

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

Source: Axios

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

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

Source: INSIDER

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

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

Source: Axios

Clinton was known to be un-punctual. 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 around five hours a night.

 Clinton was known to be un-punctual. 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 around five hours a night.

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.

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

Source: Axios

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

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

Source: Axios

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

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

Source: Axios

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

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

Source: Axios

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

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

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.

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.

Source: Axios

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

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

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.

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."

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."

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.

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.

Source: Axios

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

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

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."

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."

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."

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 claimed that Trump's morning is usually a mix of Oval Office and residence time.

Sanders also claimed that 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."

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."

Source: Penguin Random House

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