Trump made big changes in policy this week.
The new year started off with a political bang because of a frenetic burst of activity from the executive branch. A dishy book that touched off the final breakup between the president and his onetime strategist Steve Bannon dominated the headlines for much of the week, but a lot of actual policymaking happened too.
From the environment to drug policy to relations with Pakistan, a range of executive agencies kicked off the year with dramatic — generally risky, unpopular, or both — new initiatives that show an increasingly comfortable team eager to make a substantive mark even amid a chaotic environment.
Trump broke ties with Steve Bannon
A new book by Michael Wolff is full of gossipy (and perhaps false) anecdotes confirming the general impression of dysfunction and disorganization in the early months of the Trump White House. It also quotes former chief strategist Steve Bannon as calling Donald Trump Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting with purported Kremlin emissary Natalia Veselnitskaya “treasonous” and suggests Trump and his family are vulnerable to money laundering charges from special counsel Robert Mueller. In response, Trump released a furious statement saying Bannon had “lost his mind” and accused him of a whole range of other misdeeds.