Donald Trump: The Russian Poodle
In 1972, President Richard Nixon’s White House dispatched burglars to bug Democratic Party offices. That Watergate burglary and related “dirty tricks,” such as releasing mice at a Democratic press conference and paying a woman to strip naked and shout her love for a Democratic candidate, nauseated Americans — and impelled some of us kids at the time to pursue journalism.
Now in 2016 we have a political scandal that in some respects is even more staggering. Russian agents apparently broke into the Democrats’ digital offices and tried to change the election outcome. President Obama on Friday suggested that this was probably directed by Russia’s president, saying, “Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin.”
In Watergate, the break-in didn’t affect the outcome of the election. In 2016, we don’t know for sure. There were other factors, but it’s possible that Russia’s theft and release of the emails provided the margin for Donald Trump’s victory.
The C.I.A. says it has “high confidence” that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion.
中央情报局(CIA)称，该机构“非常确信”俄罗斯试图让特朗普当选，另据《华盛顿邮报》(The Washington Post)报道，联邦调查局(FBI)局长和国家情报机构负责人均认同这一结论。
Both Nixon and Trump responded badly to the revelations, Nixon by ordering a cover-up and Trump by denouncing the C.I.A. and, incredibly, defending Russia from the charges that it tried to subvert our election. I never thought I would see a dispute between America’s intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator.
Let’s be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It’s not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the C.I.A. is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog — a Russian poodle.
In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely (and unfairly) mocked as President George W. Bush’s poodle, following him loyally into the Iraq war. The fear is that this time Putin may have interfered to acquire an ally who likewise will roll over for him.
英国首相托尼·布莱尔(Tony Blair)曾（有失公正地）在国内遭到普遍奚落，被说成是乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)总统的贵宾狗，忠心耿耿地追随布什参加伊拉克战争。令人担忧的是，这一次普京插手或许是为了获得一个盟友，同样也会乐意为他打滚儿。
Frankly, it’s mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from C.I.A. officials to a local union leader in Indiana.
Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it’s notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia’s “Order of Friendship.”
特朗普提名的国务卿人选雷克斯·蒂勒森(Rex Tillerson)是一位聪明能干的管理人员。但值得注意的是，他和普京特别亲密。普京曾授予蒂勒森俄罗斯的”友谊勋章“(Order of Friendship)。
Whatever our personal politics, how can we possibly want to respond to Russia’s interference in our election by putting American foreign policy in the hands of a Putin friend?
Tillerson’s closeness to Putin is especially troubling because of Trump’s other Russia links. The incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, accepted Russian money to attend a dinner in Moscow and sat near Putin. A ledger shows $12.7 million in secret payments by a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the Trump family itself has business connections with Russia.
因为特朗普和俄罗斯的其他关联，蒂勒森与普京关系密切这一点尤其令人担忧。下一任国家安全顾问迈克尔·弗林(Michael Flynn)在收了俄罗斯的钱之后，出席在莫斯科举行的一场晚宴，并与普京比邻而坐。一本分类账簿显示，乌克兰的一个亲俄政党曾秘密付给特朗普的前竞选经理保罗·马纳福特(Paul Manafort)1270万美元（约合9000万元人民币）。并且特朗普家族本身也和俄罗斯有业务联系。
It’s true that there will be counterbalances, including Gen. James Mattis, the former Marine commander who has no illusions about Moscow and is expected to be confirmed as defense secretary. But over all it looks as if the Trump administration will be remarkably pro-Putin — astonishing considering Putin’s Russia has killed journalists, committed war crimes in Ukraine and Syria and threatened the peaceful order in Europe.
诚然，制衡力量是会有的，包括对莫斯科不抱任何幻想并有望获准担任国防部长的前海军陆战队指挥官詹姆斯·马蒂斯上将(Gen. James N. Mattis)。但总体上，特朗普政府看起来似乎明显亲普京——考虑到普京统治的俄罗斯杀害记者、在乌克兰和叙利亚犯下战争罪并威胁欧洲的和平秩序，这种情况令人震惊。
So it’s critical that the Senate, the news media and the public subject Tillerson to intense scrutiny. There are other issues to explore as well, including his role in enabling corruption in Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world. The same is true of his role in complicity with the government of Angola, where oil corruption turned the president’s daughter into a billionaire even as children died of poverty and disease at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world.
Maybe all this from Russia to Angola was just Tillerson trying to maximize his company’s revenue, and he will act differently as secretary of state. Maybe. But I’m skeptical that his ideology would change in fundamental ways.
This is not only about Tillerson just as the 1972 break-in was not only about the Watergate building complex. This is about the integrity of American democracy and whether a foreign dictator should be rewarded for attacking the United States. It is about whether we are led by a president or a poodle.