Indeed, what makes the current upheaval in the White House unique is that—unlike the turmoil wrought by an independent counsel’s investigation, or an unwieldy legislative process, or an international crisis—the current situation is almost entirely within the president’s control. If he wanted these stories to stop, he could simply stop firing people (or musing about firing them).
But maybe the essential controllability of this particular “crisis” is what makes it so appealing to Trump. Unlike other controversies that preoccupy the media, this story is exclusively about his power. Everybody on cable news is talking about who he will fire, and who he will spare; who can work their way back into his good graces, and who will be exiled from the president’s inner-circle. It is about his authority—and there is little Trump loves more than performing authority.