With Donald Trump on a visit to Japan, reports emerged that the coterie of White House officials who have traveled with him are not best pleased with the president’s actions while aboard Air Force One.
According to Business Insider, a number of White House staffers have expressed displeasure at the way Trump acts while on long foreign trips. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak spoke to five current and former White House staffers who alleged that while there was a competition among them to vie for a spot on foreign trips with Trump early in his tenure, most of them now prefer to be left at home, thanks to a “restless” Trump, who reportedly spends most of his time watching cable news and reading newspapers. The bigger problem is that he would not let his staffers get a moment’s respite.
“He will not go to sleep,” one official told CNN. The official went on to recall an incident where an aide was trying to get a few hours of sleep before being summoned by Trump to discuss recent media coverage.
“It’s like being held captive,” another official said.
As it is, sleeping arrangements for staffers are not optimum on Air Force One. While the president gets his own bedroom in the air, staffers have to make do with office chairs, leather benches on the sides of the plane, and yoga mats. Therefore, when President Trump doesn’t afford them the luxury to have some time off while traveling, it becomes all the more taxing for his White House aides.
Trump's aides, who sometimes dread boarding Air Force One for a lengthy flight overseas, know full well the boss will make little use of the bed wedged into the nose of the plane https://t.co/S5N0DDFLYd— CNN (@CNN) May 25, 2019
The staffers went on to say that it was not like Trump kept in his private room, either, making it almost mandatory for them to be alert during the long foreign trips. According to them, the president spends most of his time watching Fox News on a TiVo-like device while in the air.
The picture painted by aides of Trump in the air is not much different from how Trump is known to spend a bulk of his “executive time” at home, during which he watches a lot of cable news.
Staffers also allege that Trump himself is not very fond of traveling overseas, an assertion reinforced by the fact that he didn’t take any international trips in the first 100 days of his tenure. Staffers said that the president is very picky about where he sleeps and is often concerned over whether he’s the sole guest of honor during state visits.