Trump moves to become master of his own messages

Mr. Catsimatidis, who praised Mr. Trump’s delivery in his Tuesday speech to Congress, said the president remained his own best messenger. “Everybody hates his tweets, but at least people know what he’s really thinking,” Mr. Catsimatidis said.

That view is shared by a cadre of Trump allies and advisers, who watched him engage repeatedly with reporters throughout the campaign and found the coverage of their boss to be the better for it. For the first few weeks of his new administration, Mr. Trump was mostly cloistered in the West Wing, away from journalists, save for the occasional phone interview.

The president reached his limit as a media shut-in after a particularly tough week of headlines last month, when he decided he wanted to fight back himself, despite the objections of some advisers, at a hastily arranged news conference. The result was a 77-minute Trump tour de force that — while filled with presidential grievances and meandering complaints about media coverage — was at least viewed as a cathartic exercise for a frustrated commander in chief.

The news conference was, in many ways, a natural outgrowth of Mr. Trump’s adjustment to the sprawling bureaucracy of the White House after decades of overseeing a close-knit business. Mr. Trump, who speaks to hundreds of people but trusts very few of them, is surrounded by a group of staff members who are still new to him.

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