Since taking office in January, President Donald Trump has displayed various reactions to the pressures of his job, from angry tweets to effusive exaggerations to self-defeating candor.
On Monday, Trump tried something new: bathing in praise from his Cabinet in front of TV cameras.
After a weekend dominated by discussion of whether he had committed obstruction of justice, the president called in reporters for what he billed as his first full Cabinet meeting. He began with an opening statement laced with the sort of wild self-congratulatory boasts that are his trademark.
"Never has there been a president with few exceptions … who has passed more legislation, done more things," Trump declared, even though Congress, which is controlled by his party, hasn't passed any major legislation.
He hailed his plan for the "single biggest tax cut in American history," even though he hasn't proposed a plan and Congress hasn't acted on one. He said "no one would have believed" his election could have created so many new jobs over the past seven months (1.1 million), even though more jobs (1.3 million) were created in the previous seven months.
Typically, a president's initial comments mark the end of on-camera coverage of White House Cabinet meetings, with administration aides then escorting members of the small press "pool" out of the room. But Trump invited reporters to remain as he called on his senior-most advisers to "go around, name your position" and say a few words about the administration's work.
"Start with Mike," Trump said, referring to his vice president. Mike Pence, whom Trump kept in the dark for two weeks after learning that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had given the vice president false information earlier this year, responded by saying that serving as Trump's number two is "the greatest privilege of my life."
"An honor to be here," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recently offered his resignation amid strains over the Russia investigation.
"My hat is off to you," said Energy Secretary Rick Perry, referring to the president's explanation of his decision to abandon a global climate change agreement.
"We thank you for the opportunity and blessing you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people," said Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, the subject of recent reports that Trump may fire him.
The kayfabe continues. The true believers will believe. Most of all, they will vote.
But please, tell me another one about Obama's "cult of personality".