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混乱、困惑与争吵,陷入重围的白宫幕僚

更新时间:2017-5-17 19:01:55 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls
混乱、困惑与争吵,陷入重围的白宫幕僚

WASHINGTON — The disclosure that President Trump divulged classified intelligence to two high-ranking Russian officials was a new blow to an already dispirited and besieged White House staff still recovering from the uproar and recriminations from the president’s firing of James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director.

华盛顿——特朗普总统向两名俄罗斯高级官员泄露机密情报一事的曝光,让业已丧头耷脑、陷入重围,尚未从总统解雇联邦调查局(FBI)局长詹姆斯·B·科米(James B. Comey)引发的哗然和指责中恢复过来的白宫幕僚们,遭到了最新一次沉重打击。

Mr. Trump’s appetite for chaos, coupled with his disregard for the self-protective conventions of the presidency, have left his staff confused and squabbling. And his own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark, turning against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — and describing them in a fury as “incompetent,” according to one of those advisers.

特朗普对混乱的渴求,加上对总统自我保护惯例的无视,让幕僚们感到困惑、陷入争吵。此外,根据两名要求匿名的顾问的说法,他自己的心情变得低落和灰暗;其中一名顾问说,总统跟大多数助手翻了脸——就连他的女婿贾里德·库什纳(Jared Kushner)也没能幸免——有一次还大发脾气,说他们都很“无能”。

Even before the latest bombshell dropped, reports swirled in the White House that the president was about to embark on a major shake-up, probably starting with the dismissal or reassignment of Sean Spicer, the press secretary.

早在最新一枚重磅炸弹被引爆前,白宫内部就流传着这样的消息:总统即将着手进行重大人事调整,很有可能是从解雇白宫新闻发言人肖恩·斯派塞(Sean Spicer)或重新安排其职务开始。

Mr. Trump’s rattled staff kept close tabs on a meeting early Monday in which the president summoned Mr. Spicer; the deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders; and the communications director, Michael Dubke, to lecture them on the need “to get on the same page,” according to a person briefed on the meeting. Even as Mr. Trump reassured advisers like Mr. Spicer that their jobs were safe at the morning meeting, he told other advisers he knew he needed to make big changes but did not know which direction to go in, or whom to select.

据一位了解内情的人士说,特朗普那些惶惑不安的幕僚密切关注着周一早间的一场会议——总统召集斯派塞、副新闻发言人萨拉·赫卡比·桑德斯(Sarah Huckabee Sanders)和通讯联络主任迈克尔·杜布克(Michael Dubke)到会,向他们宣讲“思维一致”的必要性。特朗普在会上向斯派塞等顾问保证,他们的位置很牢靠,不过他告诉其他一些顾问,他知道自己必须推动重大改变,但不知道该朝哪个方向迈进或者该选谁。

Later, reporters could hear senior aides shouting from behind closed doors as they discussed a defense after Washington Post reporters informed them of an article they were writing that first reported the news about the president’s divulging of intelligence.

随后,《华盛顿邮报》(Washington Post)的记者告知特朗普的高级助手,他们正在撰写一篇将把总统泄露情报的消息首度公之于众的文章。当高级助手们商讨对策的时候,记者能听到他们在紧闭的房门内高声喊叫。

As they struggled to limit the fallout on Monday, Mr. Spicer and other Trump aides decided to send Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, to serve as a surrogate.

周一那天,勉力限制事态影响的斯派塞以及特朗普的其他助手,决定让国家安全顾问、陆军中将H· R ·麦克马斯特(H.R. McMaster)代他们发声。

They realized that selecting such a high official would in some ways validate the story, but they wanted to establish a credible witness account exonerating the president from wrongdoing — before the barrage of Twitter posts they knew would be coming from Mr. Trump on Tuesday morning.

他们知道选择这样一个高官在某种程度上相当于对消息加以证实,但他们希望赶在特朗普于周二早上猛发推文之前——他们知道他肯定会发——拿出一份可信的证人证言,表明总统没有不当之处。

The White House counsel’s office worked with the Army general on framing language, producing a clipped sound bite: “The story that came out tonight as reported is false.”

白宫法律顾问办公室和陆军中将一起精心措辞,炮制出一个言简意赅的回应:“关于当晚曝光的消息的报道是错误的。”

As he was working on his statement, General McMaster — a former combat commander who appeared uncomfortable in a civilian suit and black-framed glasses — nearly ran into reporters staking out Mr. Spicer’s office.

在军中当过战地指挥官的麦克马斯特中将一身平民装束,戴一副黑框眼镜,看上去颇不自在。由于专注于手头的声明,他差一点撞上窥视斯派塞办公室的记者。

“This is the last place in the world I wanted to be,” he said, perhaps in jest.

“全世界我最不愿意来的地方现在就是这里,”他说——或许是在开玩笑。

As the general approached microphones on the blacktop in front of the West Wing, one of his deputies responsible for coping with the fallout, Dina Powell, could be seen peering behind the reporter pack to see how her boss’s statement was being received.

当中将走向西翼楼前边沥青地面上的麦克风时,人们可以看到他的一名副手、负责应对事态影响的迪娜·鲍威尔(Dina Powell)在一群记者身后张望,以便观察记者对她的上司的声明作何反应。

On Capitol Hill, there were signs that Republicans, who mostly held the line after Mr. Comey’s ouster, were growing alarmed by and impatient with Mr. Trump’s White House operation.

在国会山,有迹象表明,科米被解职后,大多未有异议的共和党人对特朗普领导下的白宫的运转越来越感到不安和不耐烦。

“There need to be serious changes at the White House, immediately,” said Senator Patrick J. Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican who wants Mr. Trump to appoint a Democrat to head the F.B.I. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, called on Mr. Trump to operate with “less drama” on Tuesday.

“白宫需要立即发生真正的改变,”宾西法尼州共和党参议员帕特里克·J·图米(Patrick J. Toomey)说。图米希望特朗普能任命一名民主党人为FBI负责人。参议院多数党领袖、肯塔基州参议员米奇·麦康奈尔(Mitch McConnell)周二呼吁特朗普行事“少一些戏剧性”。

In his comments to reporters on Monday, Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican close to some in the White House, was explicit about the situation.

和一些白宫人士关系密切的田纳西州共和党参议员鲍勃·考克(Bob Corker)周一和记者交流时,对当前的局面毫不讳言。

“Obviously they’re in a downward spiral right now,” he said, “and they’ve got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening.”

“他们眼下显然处于恶性循环之中,”他说,“他们得想出办法,有力应对正在发生的所有一切。”

A dozen of Mr. Trump’s aides and associates, while echoing Mr. Trump’s defiance, privately agreed with Mr. Corker’s view. They spoke candidly, in a way they were unwilling to do just weeks ago, about the damage that was being done to the administration’s standing and the fatigue that was setting in after months of having to defend the president’s missteps, Twitter posts and unpredictable actions.

特朗普的十余名助手和身边人虽然与摆出不屈姿态的特朗普保持一致,私下里却同意考克的观点。连月来不得不为总统的失误、推文以及不可预测的行为辩护的他们,坦诚地谈及了政府形象受到的伤害,以及自己疲于应付的情形——几星期前他们还不愿如此坦诚。

The latest crisis comes at the worst possible time for Mr. Trump’s team. His national security and foreign policy staffs have been spending much of their time planning for his coming eight-day trip to the Middle East and Europe — his first major overseas trip as president, and an opportunity, they thought, to reset the narrative of his presidency after the lingering controversy of Mr. Comey’s sudden dismissal last week.

特朗普团队在不可能更糟糕的时机迎来了最新的危机。他的国家安全和外交政策幕僚一直在花费大把时间为他即将到来的中东和欧洲八日之旅做规划——这将是他以总统身份展开的首次重大海外访问;在他们看来,也会让他在科米突然被解职引发持久争议之后,有机会重塑自己的总统形象。

There is a growing sense that Mr. Trump seems unwilling or unable to do the things necessary to keep himself out of trouble, and that the presidency has done little to tame a shoot-from-the-hip-into-his-own-foot style that characterized his campaign.

人们越来越意识到,特朗普似乎不愿或不能采取让自己免于陷入困境的必要举措,总统的身份基本无助于驯化曾主导其竞选活动的那种言行冲动、自找麻烦的风格。

There is a fear among some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers about leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn. General McMaster, in particular, has tried to insert caveats or gentle corrections into conversations when he believes the president is straying off topic or onto boggy diplomatic ground.

特朗普的一些高级顾问不太放心让他独自会见外国领导人,害怕他会说些不该说的话。尤其是麦克马斯特中将,当他认为总统正在跑题或陷入外交沼泽的时候,就会试图发出提示,或者温和地对谈话加以修正。

This has, at times, chafed the president, according to two officials with knowledge of the situation. Mr. Trump, who still openly laments having to dismiss his first national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, has groused that General McMaster talks too much in meetings, and the president has referred to him as “a pain,” according to one of the officials.

按照两名了解内情的官员的说法,这样做有时会惹恼总统。其中一名官员称,至今仍在公开感叹不得不解雇其首位国家安全顾问迈克尔·T·弗林(Michael T. Flynn)的特朗普,一直抱怨麦克马斯特中将在会晤场合话太多,还说他有点儿“烦人”。

In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling — and honest — defense of the president: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of printed briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would do harm to United States allies.

三名政府官员私下里坦言,他们无法公开以最有力也最诚实的言语为总统辩护:特朗普阅读打印出来的简报材料时总是匆忙而又不经意,这样一个对于情报搜集工作细节既不感兴趣也不了解的人,不可能泄露会对美国盟友造成伤害的情报来源和搜集方法。

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