Increasingly, federal officials are deciding to simply ignore President Donald Trump.
As stunning as that sounds, fresh evidence arrives every day of the government treating the man elected to lead it as someone talking mostly to himself.
On Tuesday alone, the commandant of the Coast Guard announced he will "not break faith" with transgender service members despite Trump's statement that they could no longer serve. Fellow Republicans in the Senate moved ahead with other business despite the president's insistence that they return to repealing Obamacare. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, "we certainly don't blame the Chinese" for North Korea's nuclear program after Trump claimed, "China could easily solve this problem." And Vice President Mike Pence said the president and Congress speak in a "unified voice" on a bipartisan Russia sanctions bill Trump has signed, but not publicly embraced.
"What is most remarkable is the extent to which his senior officials act as if Trump were not the chief executive," Jack Goldsmith, a top Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, wrote last weekend on lawfareblog.com.