REVEALED: Trump NEVER sleeps on long Air Force One flights and rarely joins Melania in their private cabin – exasperating aides who can be woken and summoned by POTUS at any hour
never sleeps on board Air Force One and wakes up aides at any hour to ‘catch up or gossip‘ or discuss unfavorable media coverage.
Current and former officials claim that White House trips can be difficult and often mean long hours, but several privately said that flights overseas are easily the worst.
The duration can stretch nearly 20 hours and sleeping space is limited. Unsurprisingly Trump, 72, watches Fox News on board and staff are always on edge when there are negative headlines about him.
Trump‘s trip to Tokyo this weekend marks the start of several summer trips to five countries, including the U.K and Ireland, which includes 80 hours of flying overseas.
When he first took office in 2016, staffers clamored to travel on overseas trips.
But three years later, several officials told that they do their best to avoid staffing the trips because of the chaotic nature that typically accompanies them.
They claim that Trump usually stays in the front cabin during flights and eats, watches television or reads newspapers.
He also talks with staff and calls friends and supporters back home. One official claimed that if he sees something on television that upsets him, ‘which he invariably will,‘ one official quipped, he asks them to rectify it.
He also spends hours reviewing cable news coverage or will go through cardboard boxes- full of newspapers and magazines that have been lugged aboard.
He also has a tendency to wake sleeping staffers and bring them to his office when the plane is dark to discuss his upcoming meetings or devise a response to media coverage.
One official claimed that the President will fixate on a negative headline that day, instead of looking over his remarks for upcoming bilateral meetings or paging through a briefing book.
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‘He will not go to sleep,‘ one staffer told CNN. Trump is known not to require much sleep, he previously said he sleeps only four to five hours at the White House. And he sleeps less on Air Force One, according to officials who fly with him.
He stays out with his aides and will even chat to them about sports or gossip at home, despite being encouraged to join First Lady Melania Trump in their private cabin and get some rest.
There are no designated sleeping spots, so staffers sleep on miniature couches or lean back in office chairs and prop their feet up on the desk.
Other people spread out on the floors of conference rooms or on leather benches along the side of the plane. Other more seasoned staffers now bring yoga mats to soften the floor.
Trump now limits foreign travel to one or two countries at a time and crams meetings and events into a few days to minimize time spent abroad.
He also prefers to arrive at his destination and head directly to his hotel, even for a few hours.
While past presidents often flew through the night to save time, Trump often arrives to his destination at night and begins his talks the next day.
In between meetings with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam earlier this year, Trump vented his fury on Air Force One as he watched his former lawyer Michael Cohen give testimony at Capitol Hill, branding Trump a liar and claimed he evaded paying tax.
Trump has also complained about lodgings that he claimed were unsuitable and not to his standards, according to his aides.
The White House Communications Agency arranged for a streaming service that would allow him to keep up with his favorite programs when he discovered that Fox News was not available in one hotel.
He typically asks for multiple televisions in his room, depending on the size of the space, one source said.
Trump is said to like trips where he is the guest of honor instead of the large summit meetings that comprise chunks of any U.S. president‘s calendar.
In the past, Trump has felt ‘ganged up on by other leaders‘ at the G7 and the G20 gatherings, according to administration officials.