If you ask some close to President Trump what worries them most about 2018, it’s not Robert Mueller’s probe. It’s that establishment guardrails of 2017 come down — and Trump’s actual instincts take over.
Next year will bring “full Trump,” said one person who recently talked to the president.
Trump has governed mostly as a conventional conservative — on tax cuts, his Supreme Court pick, and rolling back regulations. Most of his top advisers are fairly conventional conservatives, so that makes sense.
- Most of those in his current decision-making circle — even if they’re not mainstream Republicans — are defending mainstream Republican principles like free trade and an internationalist view of foreign policy.
- But top officials paint a different portrait of Trump when it comes to what he really wants on trade, immigration and North Korea — but has been tamped down by skeptical staff and Cabinet officials.