President Trump is preparing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore after thrashing six of America's closest allies in Canada, but "he left behind a West Wing where burned-out aides are eyeing the exits, as the mood in the White House is one of numbness and resignation that the president is growing only more emboldened to act on instinct alone," report Maggie Haberman and Katie Rogers at The New York Times. Trump "may soon be working with a thinned-out cast in the middle of Season 2, well before the midterm elections," they add, naming White House Chief of Staff John Kelly among those eying the door.
Kelly told visiting senators last week that the White House is "a miserable place to work," a person with direct knowledge of the comment tells the Times. Meanwhile, Trump, fixating on White House leaks and constantly working to ensure a measure of chaos in the West Wing, "has grown comfortable with removing any barriers that might challenge him — including, in some cases, people who have the wrong chemistry or too frequently say no to him," Haberman and Rogers report. With his number of formal advisers shrinking, Trump is increasingly calling outside advisers, especially Corey Lewandowski and longtime friend David Bossie, plus a kind of surprising name:
Among the president's other confidants is Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Trump has dismissed the advice of several aides who have tried to persuade him to fire Mr. Pruitt in light of the growing questions about misuse of his authority. The two speak frequently, and the president enjoys discussing his negative view of Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, with the embattled EPA leader. [The New York Times]