Monday 10 December 2018

'Hard-working' Trump clocks in at 11am and out at just 6pm

US President Donald Trump pictured after signing his $1.5trn tax overhaul plan in the White House before Christmaszone
US President Donald Trump pictured after signing his $1.5trn tax overhaul plan in the White House before Christmaszone

Ben Riley-Smith

US President Donald Trump begins his official work day as late as 11am and is known to clock off at 6pm, leaked copies of his private schedule reportedly reveal.

He often has ill-defined “executive time” scheduled in the early morning and at other times, according to Axios, the political website.

The periods are used for Mr Trump to make phone calls, watch television and send tweets, it was claimed – often from his private residence in the White House. The late official start contrasts with Mr Trump’s early months in the White House and with the start times of previous presidents.

George W Bush typically arrived in the Oval Office by 6.45am, while Barack Obama worked out before holding meetings from 9am or 10am.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, defended Mr Trump as “one of the hardest workers I have ever seen” and said he worked when in the residence, making calls to “staff, Hill members, cabinet members and foreign leaders during this time”.

The report emerged amid separate claims that White House lawyers were preparing for Mr Trump to be interviewed by the official investigation into Russian election meddling.

Mr Trump’s legal team is anticipating that Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation, will ask to interview him, according to NBC News. It said there were discussions about whether Mr Trump should give written responses to questions or take part in a sit-down interview. Mr Mueller is looking into the Trump campaign’s communications with Russians before the 2016 vote, as well as wider concerns about election meddling.

Mr Trump’s work practices and mental health have hit the headlines amid fallout from a controversial book called ‘Fire and Fury’. The book, written by journalist Michael Wolff, claimed that “100pc” of Mr Trump’s senior aides concluded he was “incapable of functioning in his job”.

The White House denounced the book as “trashy tabloid fiction”.

Meanwhile, the US government announced yesterday the end of protected status for about 200,000 Salvadorans living there since before 2001, a move that threatens tens of thousands of well-established families with children born in the United States.

They were granted the exemption due to earthquakes in their country 17 years ago.

Termination of the Salvadorans’ temporary protected status (TPS) will take effect next year, to give them time to leave or seek lawful residency, and for El Salvador to prepare for their return.

The decision to end TPS for Salvadorans is part of the administration’s broader push to deport immigrants who are in the United States illegally. The decision was heavily criticised by immigrant advocates who said it ignored violence in El Salvador, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates.

The Trump administration has faced a series of deadlines over the past year to decide whether to end the protected status of immigrants in the United States whose home countries have been affected by disasters. Administration officials have said TPS is supposed to provide a temporary haven for victims, not a permanent status in the United States.

Taken together, the decisions by the Trump administration mean approximately 250,000 people who previously had permission to live and work in the United States will, over the course of the next two years, lose those protections and be open to deportation if they choose to stay in the country.

Haitians and Nicaraguans will lose their protected status in 2019, and Hondurans could lose theirs later this year. South Sudanese immigrants’ protected status was extended until May 2019.

Salvadorans are the largest group by far.

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