Trump settles in as producer in chief

Midway through the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump had an idea. Wouldn’t it be fun, he told an associate, to revive his hit NBC reality show “The Apprentice” inside the White House, using his own staffers as the contestants and the West Wing as his board room? The idea, conveyed by two people familiar with the conversation, was quickly squelched by aides.

But if the past week has illustrated, Trump’s inclination to use his office as a television control room hasn’t waned.

After more than a year in office, the President has grown more comfortable in his new role as producer in chief, reverting to his old ways and embracing the chaos while delighting in the fact that the nation is now his captive audience.
As his aides sought to tamp down rumors that a staff shake-up was imminent Friday, the President watched the build up play out on television with barely contained glee, an administration official said. Trump, who hosted a reality show on NBC for 14 seasons before entering the White House, relishes in the feeling of being able to control the banners that flash across the lower third of his screen, people familiar with his thinking said.
It was a week of turbulence in the West Wing — beginning with the President’s decision to fire his secretary of state on Twitter — and whispers of more dismissals created the impression among White House staff that there would be a staffing upheaval come Friday.
Sources say Trump is more poised to make significant changes now because he is back in his comfort zone, with a year in office under his belt. He is beginning to trust his gut more and he now feels less inclined to listen to input from his advisers and aides, who he feels are constantly trying to restrict him from doing what he wants. Those same advisers once cautioned him that making too many changes would give off the sense that the administration was engulfed in chaos — an idea the President now embraces.

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