In late June, President Trump hosted a group of Native American tribal leaders at the White House and urged them to "just do it" and extract whatever they want from the land they control.
The exchange turned out to be an unusually vivid window into the almost kingly power that Trump sees himself as holding, and which he has begun describing with increasing bluntness. The scene was recounted by a source in the room and confirmed by another.
The White House didn't dispute the story.
The chiefs explained to Trump that there were regulatory barriers preventing them from getting at their energy. Trump replied: "But now it's me. The government's different now. Obama's gone; and we're doing things differently here."
There was a pause in the room and the tribal leaders looked at each other.
"Chief, chief," Trump continued, addressing one of the tribal leaders, "what are they going to do? Once you get it out of the ground are they going to make you put it back in there? I mean, once it's out of the ground it can't go back in there. You've just got to do it. I'm telling you, chief, you've just got to do it."