I probably work more hours than almost any past president: Trump

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump pushed back on Sunday at the suggestion that he spends much of his workday taking it easy, as the White House kept up the hunt for the person behind an embarrassing leak of his schedule.

According to details published last week by Axios, 60 per cent of Mr Trump's work life is categorised as "executive time", meaning unstructured time to make phone calls, read newspapers, tweet and watch TV.

Mr Trump said it should be viewed as "positive, not negative".

"When the term Executive Time is used, I am generally working, not relaxing," Mr Trump tweeted.

"In fact, I probably work more hours than almost any past president. The fact is, when I took over as president, our country was a mess.I had no choice but to work long hours."

Mr Trump rarely has official work before 11am, according to the daily guidance issued to the media by his press office.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney also pushed back on Sunday, saying the executive time is there to allow Mr Trump to prep and debrief for meetings. "The calls start at 6.30am, and they go (on) until 11pm. I can assure you (Mr Trump) is working more than what's on the calendar." - AFP