Donald Trump is in the middle of a 17-day vacation, which will mean by the end of August he’ll have taken three times as many vacation days as his predecessor, Barack Obama. But this story isn’t about litigating presidential vacation days.
Rather, it’s to figure out how the tweeter in chief changes his Twitter habits when he’s vacationing.
Trump is a man of routine, so there’s a lot that stays the same between his vacation schedule and work schedule. The New York Times’ Peter Baker reports that Trump starts his vacation days with the same morning routine as he does his work days: “He wakes up, he turns on the television, he sees something that makes him mad, and he reaches for his Twitter-enabled smartphone to vent.” And according to a Vox analysis, he sends about the same number of tweets when he is on vacation as he does when he is working — in both instances, an average of about six times a day.
But if his tweeting is any indication, there’s one big difference between a workday and a vacation day.
He starts this routine an hour and a half later.
In January, the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported that Trump wakes up at 6 am every day and watches cable television. And Axios reported that he first tunes in to MSNBC’s Morning Joe at 6, and then Fox & Friends at 7 am — “with a little CNN before or after.” This was, of course, before Trump taunted Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Twitter.
So if Trump is usually tweeting around 7:20 am Eastern on workdays, that means he’s about halfway through his morning show binge when he first picks up his phone to tweet. And Haberman writes that his meetings begin at 9 am, so it cuts short the TV time he had before he stepped into the White House.
But on vacation? Trump’s first tweet is usually around 8:52 am, though sometimes it’s much earlier. So perhaps he’s sleeping in, or perhaps he’s just watching his fill of cable morning shows before sending his daily messages to his followers. Or maybe he’s sleeping in, recording the morning shows, as Politico’s Josh Dawsey reported he occasionally does, and watching them a few hours later.