Going it alone: Trump increasingly relies on unilateral action to wield power

From tariffs to pardons to immigration roundups, the president is increasingly charting his own strategy on unilateral actions — and there is evidence the approach may be working for him. Trump’s approval numbers have ticked up in recent polls from his previous low points. Gallup’s most recent weekly poll numbers have Trump at 41 percent approving and 55 percent disapproving, up from 35 percent approving in December and 38 percent approving in April…

“Trump has been saying for a long time things like, ‘I am the only one who matters,’” Ben-Ghiat said. “The idea that his instincts are what guide him and he doesn’t need any experts is part of this … That’s all typical of the authoritarian way of doing things.”

She added that Trump’s approach, of keeping a relatively small circle of friends and advisers — soliciting input from many, yet heeding advice from few — has left him acting largely on his own. “In the past when that’s happened, leaders get into this bubble because they surround themselves with sycophants and flatterers, and they end up making disastrous errors. This kind of unilateralism is an outcome.”