The longer his time in the White House wears on, the more President Donald Trump distrusts those around him, preferring the privacy of his residence where he can hatewatch cable television and communicate with old associates, according to The New York Times.
At the midpoint of his term, Mr. Trump has grown more sure of his own judgment and more cut off from anyone else’s than at any point since taking office. He spends ever more time in front of a television, often retreating to his residence out of concern that he is being watched too closely. As he sheds advisers at a head-spinning rate, he reaches out to old associates, complaining that few of the people around him were there at the beginning.
Mr. Trump is said by advisers to be consumed by the multiplying investigations that have taken down his personal lawyer, campaign chairman, national security adviser and family foundation. He rails against enemies, who often were once friends, nursing a deep sense of betrayal and grievance as they turn on him.
“Can you believe this?” he has said as he scanned the torrent of headlines. “I’m doing great, but it’s a war every day.”
Trump is increasingly bothered by the coverage of his presidency, seemingly unaware the degree to which he brings negative news stories upon himself.
“Why is it like this?” he has asked aides, with no acknowledgment that he might have played a role. The aides, many of whom believe he has been treated unfairly by the news media, have replied that journalists are angry that he won and proved them wrong. He nods in agreement at such explanations.
The Times reported that Trump endlessly speaks of his accomplishments and the media’s failure to cover them appropriately: “Look what I did for Mexico and Canada,” he says, and, “Look what’s happened with terrorism.”
The portrait that emerges from interviews with about 30 current and former administration officials, personal friends, political allies, lawmakers and congressional aides suggests a president who revels in sharp swings in direction, feels free to disregard historic allies and presides over near constant turmoil within his own team as he follows his own instincts.
White House officials did not respond to requests for comment. But as the president struggles to find a way forward, the path is about to become much more hazardous. As tumultuous as events have been so far, Mr. Trump’s first two years may ultimately look calm compared to what lies ahead.