Television and remote Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Television and remote Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Brett Wortman

Trump’s fury over TV junkie story

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has blasted one of his most hated media outlets over an embarrassing article that presents him as an anxious leader who spends up to eight hours a day glued to the TV.

The New York Times published a lengthy feature story over the weekend headlined "Inside Trump's hour-by-hour battle for self-preservation", which is brimming with behind-the-scenes detail of the President's behaviour inside the White House's walls.

The article says Mr Trump wakes at 5.30am and immediately switches on the TV in his bedroom, often inspired by watch he sees to fire off tweets "while propped on his pillow".

Throughout his day, he will spend at least four hours watching cable TV news and sometimes as much as eight, according to aides who spoke to the Times.

He has absolute control of the remote, and will flick between CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC - sometimes with the sound on mute - to see the headlines he is making. What his misses, he catches up on later via TiVo.

But Mr Trump has taken issue with the Times' unflattering account, saying the story was "Wrong!" and denying that he watched CNN or MSNBC, which he decried as "Fake News".

This is not the first time Mr Trump has revealed his sensitivity to the idea that he is a TV junkie.

"I do not watch much television," Mr Trump told reporters on his recent trip to Vietnam.

"I know they like to say - people that don't know me - they like to say I watch television. People with fake sources - you know, fake reporters, fake sources.

"But I don't get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I'm reading documents a lot."

The weekend article also said that Mr Trump misunderstood the limits of his power as president and that he grew frustrated when he couldn't run the country like he would one of his companies.

The Times paints a picture of chief of staff John Kelly doing his best to control the President by getting him into the Oval Office early, thereby reducing his ability to tweet first thing in the day, and vetting the sort of information that makes it to his desk.

"Other aides bemoan his tenuous grasp of facts, jack-rabbit attention span and propensity for conspiracy theories," the article says.

There are also new insights into Mr Trump's dietary habits, such as him consuming 12 Diet Cokes a day.

A book released last week written by two key players in the Trump campaign also discussed his penchant for junk food.

"On Trump Force One, there were four major food groups: McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke," the book, Let Trump Be Trump, says.

"The orchestrating and timing of Mr Trump's meals was as important as any other aspect of his march to the presidency."

The Times article backs up anecdotes from the book about Mr Trump's famously bad moods and his propensity to bite the heads off his aides.

"Sooner or later, everybody who works for Donald Trump will see a side of him that makes you wonder why you took a job with him in the first place," the book says.

"The mode that he switches into when things aren't going his way can feel like an all-out assault; it'd break most hardened men and women into little pieces.

"Around the campaign, we call it getting your face ripped off."

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