Trump takes control

Or as Trump himself put it after firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week, “I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want.”

Those things so far have included Tillerson’s ouster; the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs that precipitated the departure of top economic adviser Gary Cohn; a surprise announcement of talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to resolve the nuclear weapons impasse; and in general a greater willingness to pursue the more distinctly “Trumpian” parts of his agenda after a year in broad agreement with Capitol Hill Republicans.

As loyalists like Hope Hicks depart the White House, Trump seems to be even more willing to make changes on his own. He personally popped in to give reporters a head’s up on the North Korea announcement, a courtesy he reportedly did not extend to all relevant players inside his administration. He caught many people on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue off-guard with his tariffs decision.