David Klion suggests that cable news has become one of the real powers, comparable to Trump's chief of staff, because Trump pays attention to it. We might add, recent wiretap claims suggest that Trump believes whatever he hears there and then he commands the intelligence community to find evidence to back him up.
Trump is less a decider than an avatar for a dysfunctional executive branch. Reporting on his administration—and thanks to constant leaks from disgruntled staffers, there has been plenty of it—portrays an impressionable president who doesn’t read policy briefs and responds only to the simplest presentations. The real power lies with those who inform Trump: his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who functions as a liaison to the GOP-controlled Congress; his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, whose main goal seems to be personal profit; and anyone with any agenda who can manage to appear on cable news, which is the most reliable way to get Trump’s attention. A standard authoritarian takes control of TV news and uses it to disseminate his ideology. But in Trump’s America, cable news channels function as a set of independent power bases, each of which has at least as much influence on the president as he has on them. [emphasis mine]
Klion mentions, “…a Republican Party cynical enough to install a senile reality show host in the White House as the price for power.”