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January 22, 2019

President Trump's TV time may be a bigger problem than we thought.

The president is obviously attached to his favorite Fox News programs, tweeting responses to and explicitly mentioning what show he's watching throughout his presidency. But as former White House communications aide Cliff Sims describes, Trump sometimes took his screen time a little too far.

At one point, Trump was supposed to be meeting with then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to hear about his party's replacement for the Affordable Care Act, Sims describes in his forthcoming book Team of Vipers. It didn't work out as Ryan planned, as The Washington Post summarizes below.

Sims recounts one time when Ryan was in the Oval Office explaining the ins and outs of the Republican health care bill to the president. As Ryan droned on for 15 minutes, Trump sipped on a glass of Diet Coke, peered out at the Rose Garden, stared aimlessly at the walls and, finally, walked out.

Ryan kept talking as the president wandered down the hall to his private dining room, where he flicked on his giant flat-screen TV. Apparently, he had had enough of Ryan's talk. It fell to Vice President [Mike] Pence to retrieve Trump and convince him to return to the Oval Office so they could continue their strategy session.

As anyone who watched Ryan's six-part documentary series about himself and tax reform can attest, Trump probably made the right choice. Kathryn Krawczyk

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