I would not say Trump has surrounded himself with "the best people" like he said he would, but he's apparently not even listening to the shitty people he's surrounded himself with.
Trump regime sources who spoke to the Washington Post say that Trump is increasingly acting on his own without consulting or listening to his advisers and that led to his surprise announcement that he would impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese goods.
Trump, they say, is high on his own supply and he's become convinced of his own genius.
President Trump is increasingly acting based on his own intuition and analysis and not the advice of aides in the increasingly fraught trade war with China, five people briefed on the actions said, shattering a more cautious process that had yielded few positive results so far. [...]
They said White House officials were now expecting a long, drawn-out battle with Chinese leaders, even though Trump is acutely tuned in to stock market fluctuations. But Trump is convinced that the Chinese economy is suffering more than the U.S. economy from the conflict. And he has felt validated that his hardball threats in other circumstances, including a recent tangle with Mexico over border security, seemed to get at least some results, even if they scared investors in the short term, said the people familiar with the matter.
Outside advisers and China experts have encouraged the White House to resume negotiations with Beijing, but it is unclear how Trump plans to proceed. He often announces his decisions in Twitter posts, sometimes after consulting with aides but sometimes based on his own view on how to proceed.
Trump’s willingness to rip the process away from his senior advisers has been building for months.
This tracks with our overall impression of Trump's thought process, to the extent that he even has a thought process. Trump believes he can bully China into accepting his terms -- whatever those terms may be -- just like he would bully a contractor installing the lights in one of his gaudy hotels.
No offense to Mexico, but believing he can intimidate China in the same manner as Mexico is comparable in magnitude of offense to threatening a contractor.
With that said, what Mexico agreed to give Trump (a small deployment of National Guard troops to their own border) is worth virtually nothing compared to the mountain of erratic and erroneous demands Trump has made to China. Trump has directly threatened China's sovereignty by demanding that they rewrite their own laws without offering anything substantive in return. Trump hasn't even offered to completely eliminate his tariffs. His offer is based entirely on the threat of economic force and, more recently, actual force.
It's obviously possible that members Team Trump are leaking these details to the press because they want to distance themselves from the consequences of Trump's actions, but this story and others like it demonstrate the folly of working for him in the first place.
Trump hand-picked the team he's currently surrounded by and he chose them because each of them said exactly what he wanted to hear at some point, but that's not enough. They may be toadies, but that doesn't mean Trump is always going to listen to what they have to say even if they generally agree with him. They do not get the benefit of the doubt. He has no personal or professional loyalty to them.
Everyone who works with Trump is eventually humiliated.