Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended President Trump on Monday for his unorthodox White House schedule—filled with “executive time” in which he spends a reported 60 percent of his day watching TV, reading newspapers, tweeting, and talking on the phone with friends—by noting that Winston Churchill took naps every afternoon in his pajamas.
The president’s light schedule was leaked to Axios via a White House source, and he was picked apart for most of Sunday for ostensibly taking the first several hours of the day off.
“The distortions of the hate-Trump movement are never more obvious than in the reaction to the President’s leaked schedule,” Gingrich tweeted Monday morning. “The ignorance of history of the current elites is pathetic. Churchill slept late, worked late, took a nap every afternoon (getting into his pajamas).”
“Presidential schedules (like all leaders) should be based on achievement not activity,” he added. “Reagan spent every August at the ranch. Washingtonians were appalled. Reagan came back refreshed and refocused. It made him more effective.”
“We have continued economic growth, continued wage growth, continued job creation, progress in Chinese trade talks, trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, progress in strengthening NATO, progress in Venezuela, if Trump’s schedule leads to all this he should be applauded for his focus.”
Churchill, who served as prime minister of the United Kingdom for nine years, did indeed take afternoon power naps, in addition to working late and rising early. He also famously had a cigar and whiskey with breakfast. He suffered from strokes in his last years in office and with depression throughout his life. He left No. 10 Downing St. at the age of 80.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has, in the past, denied that all of Trump’s time spent alone was a sign of laziness.
“The time in the morning is a mix of residence time and Oval Office time, but he always has calls with staff, Hill members, Cabinet members, and foreign leaders during this time,” Sanders has said.
“The president is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen and puts in long hours and long days nearly every day of the week all year long,” she added.