In jagged black strokes, President Trump's signature was scribbled onto a catalogue of executive orders over the past 10 days that translated the hard-line promises of his campaign into the policies of his government.The directives bore Trump's name, but another man's fingerprints were also on nearly all of them: Jeff Sessions. [...]From immigration and health care to national security and trade, Sessions is the intellectual godfather of the president's policies. His reach extends throughout the White House, with his aides and allies accelerating the president's most dramatic moves, including the ban on refugees and citizens from seven mostly Muslim nations that has triggered fear around the globe.
The tactician turning Trump's agenda into law is deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn, Sessions's longtime chief of staff in the Senate. The mastermind behind Trump's incendiary brand of populism is chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who, as chairman of the Breitbart website, promoted Sessions for years.Then there is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, who considers Sessions a savant and forged a bond with the senator while orchestrating Trump's trip last summer to Mexico City and during the darkest days of the campaign.In an email in response to a request from The Washington Post, Bannon described Sessions as "the clearinghouse for policy and philosophy" in Trump's administration.