Dec 31, 2017

How Trump built his presidency of one

Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn, in September. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images

Peter Baker puts on his historian's cap for today's installment of the N.Y. Times series, "Trump's Way" ... "A Year of Reinventing the Presidency ... Under Trump, a Once Unimaginable Presidency Becomes Reality":

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly: "I'm not put on earth to control him ... But I have been put on earth to make this staff work better and make sure this president, whether you voted for him or not, is fully informed before he makes a decision. And I think we achieved that."

Kelly on POTUS: "He remains fairly unconventional ... But as I point out, he now is fully briefed on the issues and the pluses and minuses, pros and cons."Ron Klain, a White House official under Clinton and Obama: "It's a presidency of one person ... That's really kind of a stunning thing. There is no Trump doctrine. There is no Trump plan. There is no Trumpism. There's just Trump."Peter notes that Trump has referred to his targets as "crazy," "psycho," "short and fat," "crooked," "totally inept," "a joke," "dumb as a rock," "disgusting," "puppet," "weak and out of control," "sleazy," "wacky," "totally unhinged," "incompetent," "lightweight" and "the dumbest man on television." (BTW, that was CNN's Don Lemon, and Trump often watches.)N.Y. Times Upshot has a living list, last updated Dec. 24, "The 410 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List." ("Insults since Mr. Trump became president are highlighted in yellow; the most recent updates are slightly darker.")

(Especially) Worth the $6 to buy the print N.Y. Times today ... Includes a special section, "A Look Back at 2017": "New York Times editors compiled some of the year's most riveting articles. Revisit the news that shaped 2017 and see highlights of our visual reporting."

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Local news footage captured a tanker truck appearing to drive toward protesters at a peaceful demonstration in Minneapolis, as demonstrators quickly got out of the way of the incoming vehicle on Sunday evening.

The big picture: Protests have continued across the country for six days, as demonstrators call for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd and other other black Americans who have died in police custody or who have been killed in racist attacks.

Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck appears to plow into Minneapolis protesters

A tanker truck appears to have driven toward thousands of protesters during a demonstration in Minneapolis, video from the scene shows.

Details: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck."

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").