As word trickled back to the White House, advisers worked to reach the president, with Trump’s personal aide interrupting at one point to hand him a cellphone with White House communications director Hope Hicks on the line; she checked in on the interview from afar.

But others were out of the loop even after the Times story was posted online Thursday evening. One White House official, when asked about the president’s impromptu interview, was perplexed, wondering aloud, “What interview? Today?” Another frustrated aide called it “embarrassing.”…

“At Mar-a-Lago, anyone who can get within eyesight changes the game,” said a former White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss a sensitive subject, and referring to club members and guests who sometimes try the influence the president on policy, share an opinion on his administration or simply say hello. “Everyone who is angling for something knows to be there.”