Trump only realised his schedule was public weeks before leaving office, Jan 6 committee told

White House staff began distributing a bizarre statement claiming then-president Donald Trump was spending his days making “many calls” and having “many meetings” in lieu of releasing a detailed daily schedule after Mr Trump discovered the decades-old practice during the final weeks of his term in office, a former press aide to Mr Trump has said.

In testimony before the House January 6 select committee, former Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere told the panel Mr Trump only realised that his staff was providing reporters and other interested parties with a copy of his public event schedule “beginning sometime around mid to late December” in 2020.

The testimony from Mr Deere was revealed in a cache of transcripts released by the select committee on Tuesday.

In the weeks following his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden, Mr Trump almost entirely ceased performing any public duties of the presidency as he focused on finding a way to remain in office against the wishes of American voters.

The traditional practice when a president does not have any public events scheduled on a given day is to say so in the “daily guidance” released to the press.

“He wanted to change the way we did that, said Mr Deere, who now serves as the top communications staffer to Tennesee Senator Bill Hagerty.

Mr Deere added that Mr Trump instead directed the White House press office to begin releasing a statement claiming he would “work from early in the morning until late in the evening” and would “make many calls and have many meetings” over the course of the day, even though it was widely known that Mr Trump spent the majority of his days in the White House residence or his private dining room while watching television.

“And so what became the new version of the public schedule was basically a couple of sentences about what his day would consist of rather than specific times and titles of events in an outline form,” he said.