CNN's Don Lemon Asks If Donald Trump Is 'Working Hard or Hardly Working' Amid Light Public Schedule

Noting President Donald Trump's light public schedule this week, CNN anchor Don Lemon questioned on Wednesday whether the president was "working hard or hardly working" and seemed to conclude the latter.

"What is he doing? What is he doing? Think about it. Looks like he's having a whole lot of 'executive time,'" the CNN Tonight host said, making air quotes, "behind closed doors in the White House."

Lemon based his assessment on Trump's schedule, which listed only a lunch with Vice President Mike Pence on Monday, nothing on Tuesday and an intelligence briefing on Wednesday. Lemon also pointed out that Trump had not spoken publicly in five days.

"The official schedule released by the White House shows the president had two meetings this week. Two," Lemon said.

The CNN anchor noted that Trump attended a private fundraiser on Wednesday at his hotel in Washington, D.C., along with Vice President Mike Pence. Trump also had a call with Venezuelan's self-declared interim president, Juan Guaidó.

"But there are still hours and hours and hours of unaccounted-for time," Lemon said. "So it makes you wonder: What is the president of the United States doing with all that time, with so little on his schedule?"

There is no official way to know, Lemon said. "Unofficially, though, we know there is Twitter," he said. "This president tweets from early morning until late night."

Lemon then played clips from Trump on the campaign trail in 2016, including one in which he promised, "If I win, we're going to work really hard."

He mocked the president for frequently going to his hotel and spending "a lot of time" at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

"You've got to wonder, with everything going on, with all the storms buffeting the White House," Lemon said. "Is this president working hard or hardly working?"

Trump's public schedule has been light since last Friday, when he surprisingly agreed to temporarily reopen the government without the funding he had demanded from Democrats to build his border wall.

While his schedule has been quite bare, the president has been busy on Twitter. He sent out 11 tweets on Wednesday and 13 tweets by midmorning Thursday.

The president's schedule on Thursday had a few more events: a late-morning meeting with American manufacturers to sign an executive order, a midafternoon intelligence briefing and, shortly afterward, a meeting with the vice premier of China in the Oval Office.

Four of Trump's tweets on Thursday addressed talks with China.

"China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table. All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved," he wrote in one of the tweets. "Tariffs on China increase to 26% on March 1st, so all working hard to complete by that date!"

Trump's tweets this week have also attacked former colleagues—particularly former members of the administration who have written books about their time in the White House—and again bragged about winning the 2016 election.

"So great to watch & listen to all these people who write books & talk about my presidential campaign and so many others things related to winning, and how I should be doing 'IT,'" Trump tweeted. "As I take it all in, I then sit back, look around, & say 'gee, I'm in the White House, & they're not!"

In October, Politico reported that Trump's schedule one day had nine hours of "executive time"—three times more than the total for his public appearances, briefings and official meetings. The blocks of unstructured time were apparently as long as two hours and 45 minutes. Trump sent dozens of tweets in that time.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Thursday.

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President Donald Trump walks out of the Oval Office on February 1, 2017. CNN anchor Don Lemon recently asked, "Is the president working hard or hardly working?" NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
CNN's Don Lemon Asks If Donald Trump Is 'Working Hard or Hardly Working' Amid Light Public Schedule | U.S.