President Trump, with at least two years of full Republican control of government at the national and state levels, has systematically damaged or destroyed his relationship with — well, almost every group or individual essential to success.
This has left him on an island inhabited by a shrinking band of true-believer voters, who can help win an election, but can do nothing to help him exploit the power he's wasting:
Trump started with a pretty clean slate but has methodically alienated:
And who's happy?
Be smart: The presidency is a lonely job. But Trump is unusually isolated because he thinks he needs no one besides himself. As one of his most ardent defenders told me: "He's just not as good as he thinks he is. And no one can tell him."
In chief strategist Steve Bannon, to steal the words from the song in "Hamilton" fittingly called "Burn," Trump has married an Icarus, who has flown to close to the sun.
Then last night, the liberal American Prospect posted an interview with Bannon that he clearly didn't think was an interview:
Be smart: Bannon's power grabs, back-biting, and grandiose America First fantasizing have left him, along with Trump, similarly isolated on a similar island — though much more content and authentically pleased with his lot.
The N.Y. Times reports: "Trump's venting on Tuesday came despite pleas from his staff, including his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner."
It was just one of the ways that Trump has rejected the advice of the two people who had the most promise of being persuasive.
Axios' Stef Kight reports in "Oops, dad did it again!": "A clear pattern has emerged when President Trump does something highly controversial or deeply offensive to large chunks of America. Within 24 hours, a story is leaked about how Ivanka and Jared are disappointed or tried to stop it."
P.S. N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Bill George, former chief executive of Medtronic and Goldman Sachs board member: "These executives cannot live with customers thinking they are in cahoots with someone who supports white supremacists or neo-Nazis."
In his third week as White House Chief of Staff, retired Marine four-star general John Kelly is dismayed by Trump's lack of control, per WashPost's Ashley Parker and Bob Costa:
Hope Hicks — White House Director of Strategic Communications, with an office just outside the Oval — is expected to take over the duties of the White House communications director on an interim basis.
Shot ... 10 AP reporters put together a package of Trump-supporter voices from around the country, "Trump's die-hard supporters show no signs of straying" (second headline: "Trump's ardent backers support him more than ever"):
"They wash their hands of neo-Nazis and wag their fingers at leftists. They denounce a press corps they see as biased and controversies they view as manufactured. But in the frenzied blame game over the deadly violence at a rally of white supremacists, Donald Trump's loyal base is happy to absolve the president himself."
Chaser ... "Republican leaders dance around Trump remarks," by AP's Steve Peoples and Tom Beaumont: "One after another, the nation's most powerful Republicans responded to President Donald Trump's extraordinary remarks about white supremacists. Yet few mentioned the president."
"Few top Republican officeholders defended the president in the midst of an escalating political crisis. Yet they are unwilling to declare all-out war against Trump and risk alienating his loyalists. And as the 2018 elections begin to take shape, the debate over Trump's words appears to be taking hold in GOP primaries."
FORTUNE reveals its "40 Under 40" list (posting updated list soon) of the most influential young people in business under the age of 40 — "a litany of fresh-faced leaders upending industries and helming some of the world's most important businesses, not to mention the largest global economies":
P.S. Ina Fried — Axios chief tech correspondent, and author of the buzzy Login newsletter (subscribe here) — is named to the Advocate's "50 Most Influential LGBTs in Media," along with Kara Swisher, NYT columnist Charles Blow, Frank Bruni, Jonathan Capehart, Anderson Cooper, MSNBC's Steve Kornacki, Rachel Maddow, HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen, Robin Roberts, Nate Silver, Shep Smith, etc.
"On late-night TV, Trump's no laughing matter anymore," by CNN's Bill Carter: "Charlottesville sparked an unmistakable outpouring of comedic rage."