The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

A month of Trump tweeting about keeping the job he isn’t doing

President Trump boards Marine One at Trump National Golf Club on Nov. 28 in Sterling, Va. (Oliver Contreras for The Washington Post)
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President Trump wants to keep his job.

Or he wants people to think he wants to keep his job so that he can keep fundraising off his effort to keep his job. Or he wants people to think he’s fighting to keep his job because he wants them to think that the 2020 presidential contest was stolen from him so that he can argue he didn’t actually lose the race. Or all of them. Or some combination of them.

It’s not clear in part because it’s not clear what Trump’s actual endgame is. It’s also not clear because, by all appearances, Trump isn’t actually all that interested in his job — at least, not in doing it at the moment.

We’ve been over this before, but it remains jarring, the extent to which Trump has scaled back any actual engagement with his job. Since Nov. 4, the day after the election, there have been 10 days on which Trump’s had literally nothing on his calendar, meaning both his official calendar and what he actually ends up doing.

Nine of those 10 days were weekdays. On one-third of weekdays since the election, Trump has done nothing either publicly or according to his calendar. That’s been true on only one of 10 weekend days — because then he usually goes to play golf. Since the election, he’s been at his course in Sterling, Va., for more than 30 hours. By contrast, he’s only spent about 20 hours in private or public meetings related to the presidency.

Even on days when Trump does things, he doesn’t do much. He made a cursory stop at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 11 and had a few other meetings that week. The next week he didn’t have much on his calendar, though he did spend time meeting with legislators from Michigan who he hoped might throw out the election results in that state. (While the duration of a meeting isn’t known, we’ve assumed it lasted an hour.)

He did spend nearly an hour on the phone with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo at one point, during which he mostly outlined various conspiracy theories over her interjections of “right” and “yes.” Earlier this month, he traveled to Georgia for a political-rally-slash-gripe-session. Otherwise, not much.

If we take out the travel and the golf and the political stuff, this is what’s left. Two of the events that made Trump’s calendar involved his giving a medal to sports stars. One event was the pardoning of a turkey.

While Trump hasn’t been particularly busy obviously being president, he has been busy. That’s evidenced by his Twitter activity.

Since Election Day, Trump has tweeted more than 1,000 times. When we looked at this activity a week ago, two-thirds of his tweets focused on the election results and his various claims that he should for some reason be given a second consecutive term in office. Of those tweets, fully half had been flagged as disinformation or misinformation by Twitter.

In May, we explored the question of how much time Trump actually spends tweeting. If you figure that he spends an average of 30 seconds on a tweet (including new tweets and retweets), he’s spent about 8½ hours tweeting since Nov. 4.

Beats working.