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如何在特朗普的华盛顿赚大钱(三):新的生意经

更新时间:2017-9-4 20:29:49 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How to Get Rich in Trump’s Washington
如何在特朗普的华盛顿赚大钱(三):新的生意经

After New Zealand, Stryk’s phone barely stopped ringing, and he quickly built up his own shop. Stuart Jolly, the ex-Trump campaign aide who worked out the phone call for New Zealand, became the new president of S.P.G. Stryk hired a former Central Intelligence Agency station chief and a few other ex-military and intelligence types, people who had contacts and expertise abroad. He also brought on an earnest young small-town lawyer from Oregon named Jacob Daniels, whom he met through his vineyard business. Daniels had been working out of his car, mostly on drunken-driving cases, when Stryk recommended him to Jolly for a job with the Trump campaign. Daniels ended up as the campaign’s second in command in Michigan, where Trump became the first Republican to win in almost 30 years, making Daniels a Trumpworld rising star. Now he was Stryk’s vice president of policy.

新西兰事件之后,斯特莱克的电话几乎就在不停地响,他很快就扩充了自己的团队。帮助新西兰与特朗普通话的前特朗普竞选团队助理斯图尔特·乔利(Stuart Jolly)成了SPG的新总裁。斯特莱克聘请了一名前中央情报局(Central Intelligence Agency)分站站长,以及其他几名前军事和情报人员,他们拥有海外联系人和相关专业知识。他还聘用了来自俄勒冈州小城的年轻热情的律师雅各布·丹尼尔斯(Jacob Daniels),他们是在斯特莱克做葡萄园生意时结识的。在斯特莱克把丹尼尔斯推荐给乔利去从事特朗普竞选团队工作之前,丹尼尔斯经常是把自己的汽车当成办公室,大部分情况下是处理酒驾案件。丹尼尔斯最后成了该竞选团队密歇根分部的二把手,后来,特朗普成为近30年来第一位赢得该州的共和党人,丹尼尔斯因此成了特朗普阵营冉冉上升的明星。现在,他是斯特莱克的政策事务副总裁。

On a balmy spring day in April, I met Stryk and a few of his colleagues on a terrace at the Army-Navy Country Club, a sprawling and immaculate golf club near the Pentagon; S.P.G. still didn’t have a proper office. Stryk wore cowboy boots and a T-shirt under a rumpled black sport coat. Most of K Street, he told me, was ‘‘a washing machine. Money just goes from one firm to another. No one creates any new wealth.’’ Stryk’s own politics leaned libertarian, he told me; despite his firm’s ties to the Trump team, he didn’t think of himself as particularly Trumpy. One of the new hires, a Democratic foreign-policy veteran, had been good friends with Paul Wellstone, the liberal senator who died in 2002. ‘‘We’re here for the opportunities,’’ Stryk said. ‘‘Not for the ideology.’’

在今年4月一个温暖的春日,我在陆军海军乡村俱乐部(Army-Navy Country Club)的露台上与斯特莱克和他的几名同事会面,那是五角大楼附近的一个庞大、整洁的高尔夫俱乐部,SPG还是没有正式的办公室。斯特莱克穿着牛仔靴、T恤和一件起皱的黑色运动外衣。他对我说,K街总的来说是“一个洗衣机。钱从一个公司转到另一个公司。谁也没有创造任何新财富。”斯特莱克对我说,他自己的政治观点倾向于自由意志主义,尽管他的公司与特朗普团队有联系,但他并不认为自己有着非常强的特朗普色彩。他的一名新雇员是民主党外交政策资深人士,曾是2002年去世的自由派参议员保罗·韦尔斯通(Paul Wellstone)的密友。“我们来这儿是因为这些机会,”斯特莱克说。“而不是因为自己的思想理念。”

Stryk was focusing not on nervous companies but on nervous countries. He and his new team had made a list of the governments S.P.G. wanted to work for — NATO allies mostly, nothing iffy like Ukraine or Pakistan — and with New Zealand as his calling card, they pitched S.P.G. as the go-to foreign lobbying and advisory firm in Trump’s Washington. Historically, foreign lobbying has been a specialized business dominated by a few big firms. Stryk viewed them as he viewed the rest of the lobbying industry: as a cartel ripe for disruption. Stryk pitched his clients policy expertise, round-the-clock work habits and personalized service.

斯特莱克重点关注的不是那些紧张不安的公司,而是那些紧张不安的国家。他和新团队已经列出了SPG想要服务的一些政府——大多是北约盟国,不包括乌克兰或巴基斯坦这种棘手的国家——他们打着新西兰通话事件的招牌,鼓吹自己是特朗普治下的华盛顿最可靠的外交游说和顾问公司。过去,外国游说是由几家大公司主导的专门业务。在斯特莱克看来,那些大公司和游说业的其他公司没有区别:都是面临崩溃的卡特尔。斯特莱克向客户宣扬自己公司的政策专业知识、昼夜不停息的工作习惯以及个性化服务。

Stryk believed his team could penetrate the uncertainty surrounding the White House. He wanted to be a ‘‘calming resource for foreign countries and businesses,’’ he told me — and there was a lot of calming to do. Over the course of a few months, the new president had managed to start a trade war with Canada, picked a fight with the prime minister of Australia and hinted that the United States might need to pull out of NATO. He also wanted to slash the State Department budget, and through the spring and summer, many senior jobs at State would remain unfilled. Everyone, even close allies, was looking for Sherpas and back doors. R. Nicholas Burns, the veteran American diplomat, told me that Trump’s denuded State Department had left diplomats from perhaps a hundred countries — most of them smaller nations — without their traditional liaison to the United States government. ‘‘There’s never been anything like this, ever,’’ Burns said.

斯特莱克认为自己的团队能够穿透围绕白宫的不确定性。他对我说,他想成为“让外国政府和公司镇定下来的一种资源”——目前有很多安抚工作可做。在过去的短短几个月里,新总统已经与加拿大打响了贸易战,与澳大利亚总理口角,并暗示美国可能需要退出北约。他还想削减国务院的预算,从春天到夏天,国务院的很多高级职位依然空缺。所有人,甚至包括亲密的盟国,都在寻找向导和后门。美国资深外交官R·尼古拉斯·伯恩斯(R. Nicholas Burns)对我说,特朗普下面空荡荡的国务院导致约100个国家的外交官——大多是小国家——失去了与美国政府的传统联系。“以前从来没有过这种事,”伯恩斯说。

Trump’s statecraft had a way of generating new business in other ways, too. The president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, was not a popular figure in Barack Obama’s Washington: A right-wing populist who preached closer ties to Russia, he once banned the United States ambassador from Prague Castle, the Czech seat of government. Trump, naturally, invited him to Washington, and Zeman’s government hired Stryk’s firm to help plan the state visit. New Zealand needed to talk to the administration about a new bilateral trade agreement, now that Trump was withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A Korean trade association wanted help planning a conference in Washington but didn’t know anyone in the Trump White House. Stryk’s people got on the phone, cold-calling around the Commerce Department to find a senior official who would speak at the event. ‘‘Most lobbyists are afraid of a ‘no,’ ’’ Stryk said. ‘‘A ‘no’ means you have no juice. I’m not afraid of ‘no.’ ’’

特朗普的治国之术也在其他方面制造了新生意。捷克共和国总统米洛什·泽曼(Milos Zeman)在贝拉克·奥巴马执政时并不受欢迎,他是一个右翼民粹主义者,宣扬与俄罗斯建立更密切的关系,他曾禁止美国大使进入捷克政府所在地布拉格城堡(Prague Castle)。而特朗普自然是邀请他到华盛顿,泽曼的政府聘请斯特莱克的公司协助筹划这次国事访问。由于特朗普正在退出“跨太平洋伙伴关系协定”(Trans-Pacific Partnership),所以新西兰需要与美国政府协商一个新的双边贸易协议。韩国的一个贸易协会想在华盛顿筹划一次会议,但是不认识特朗普白宫的任何人,因此需要帮助。斯特莱克的人拿起电话,照着电话簿给商务部(Commerce Department)的人逐一致电,寻找愿意在这次活动上发言的高级官员。“大部分游说者害怕被拒绝,”斯特莱克说。“拒绝意味着你没有吸引力。我不怕拒绝。”

But Stryk’s greatest coup was Saudi Arabia. Gulf-state oligarchs spend tens of millions of dollars a year lobbying in Washington and larding influential think tanks with grant money, and Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest spenders. The country’s then-crown prince and minister of the interior, Mohammed bin Nayef, was an exception: He enjoyed deep ties to the American intelligence apparatus under President Obama and had never needed a lobbyist. This spring, however, Trump invited Nayef’s chief rival — Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince and the king’s son — to a formal White House lunch. The lunch sent ripples through Riyadh. Did Trump favor Salman? Accidentally or on purpose, Trump had just waded into Saudi Arabia’s treacherous succession politics. Nayef found himself in need of guidance.

不过,斯特莱克最得意的客户是沙特阿拉伯。海湾国家的政治寡头们每年花费数以千万计的美元在华盛顿游说,用大笔经费收买有影响力的智库,沙特阿拉伯是出手最阔绰的一个。该国当时的王储兼内政部长穆罕默德·本·纳伊夫(Mohammed bin Nayef)是个例外:在奥巴马执政时期,他与美国情报机构关系深厚,从来不需要游说。不过今年春天,特朗普邀请纳伊夫的主要政敌——国王的儿子、当时的第二王位继承人穆罕默德·本·萨勒曼(Mohammed bin Salman)——参加白宫的一场正式午宴。那场午宴在利雅得掀起波澜。特朗普是更青睐萨勒曼吗?特朗普有意无意间卷入了沙特阿拉伯变化莫测的继承漩涡中。纳伊夫觉得自己需要一个向导。

In May, S.P.G. signed a contract to provide ‘‘congressional and executive branch brand engagement’’ to the Saudi Ministry of the Interior — Nayef’s domain. Stryk did not want to reveal much about his work for the Saudis, but lobbying records show that the fee was $5.4 million, payable up front.

今年5月,SPG与纳伊夫掌控的沙特阿拉伯内政部签了一个合同,承诺为其提供“国会和行政部门品牌推广”。斯特莱克不想透露他为那些沙特阿拉伯人服务的很多细节,但游说记录表明,相关费用为540万美元,而且是预付。

That was the other thing about foreign lobbying: It paid even better than corporate lobbying. Inevitably, Stryk had competition.

那是关于为外国游说的另一个侧面:比公司游说的收益更高。斯特莱克不可避免地面临竞争。

In keeping with Trump’s America First campaign pledge, Barry Bennett once told reporters that Avenue would not work for foreign governments. Foreign politicians were another matter. By March, Bennett was sitting in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel with an Albanian party leader named Lulzim Basha.

为了遵循特朗普“美国第一”的竞选宣言,巴里·贝内特曾对记者们说,该公司不会为外国政府工作。不过,外国政客是另外一回事。今年3月,贝内特在特朗普国际酒店(Trump International Hotel)的大堂与阿尔巴尼亚政党领袖卢尔齐姆·巴沙(Lulzim Basha)坐在了一起。

Basha was the young chairman of the Democratic Party of Albania, the country’s conservative party, which was looking to unseat the ruling Socialist Party in elections scheduled for June. Basha borrowed liberally from Trump’s playbook; he had attacked the Socialists for being in bed with crime syndicates and, simultaneously, with George Soros, whose foundation was active in Albania. His slogan was ‘‘Make Albania Great Again.’’ Now, according to Bennett, Basha wanted help beating the Socialists in June — and who better to advise him than a couple of Trump-campaign veterans? Bennett told me that it was a cordial meeting and that he later sent Basha a proposed contract. ‘‘I told him we’d love to be his political consultant,’’ Bennett said. (Through a representative, Basha declined to comment.)

巴沙是阿尔巴尼亚保守党派民主党的年轻主席,当时该党正计划在6月的大选中将执政的社会党赶下台。巴沙完全照搬特朗普的模式,指责社会党与犯罪集团以及乔治·索罗斯(George Soros)勾结,后者的基金会在阿尔巴尼亚非常活跃。他的口号是“让阿尔巴尼亚恢复伟大荣光”。据贝内特说,既然巴沙想在6月帮助打败社会党,还有谁能比特朗普竞选团队的资深人员更擅长给他提供建议呢?贝内特对我讲,那是一次友好的会面,他后来给巴沙发了一份合同样本。“我对他说,我们很愿意担任他的政治顾问,”贝内特说(巴沙通过一名代表拒绝了置评请求)。

Through an intermediary, the Albanian Democrats also reached out to Ballard, who was making his own push into foreign lobbying. He had brought on board a couple of partners with experience in Eastern Europe and Latin America, including a former Democratic congressman and a former ambassador. ‘‘They called me,’’ Ballard said of Basha’s party. ‘‘I wouldn’t know Albania in an atlas.’’ Ballard told them he couldn’t help them. He was already working with the Albanian Socialists.

此外,通过一名中间人,阿尔巴尼亚民主党联系了正涉足海外游说市场的巴拉德。巴拉德当时已招揽到若干在东欧和拉美有相关经验的合作伙伴,其中包括一名前民主党国会众议员和一名前大使。“他们给我打了电话,”巴拉德提及巴沙的政党时表示。“我连阿尔巴尼亚在地图上什么地方都不知道。”巴拉德告诉对方自己帮不了他们。他已经在跟阿尔巴尼亚社会党合作了。

When a friend referred the Socialists to him, Ballard told me, he had two questions. ‘‘I asked: ‘Is it a democracy?’ Yes. ‘Are they an ally of the U.S.?’ Yes.’’ The Socialists had a story that was becoming increasingly familiar in Washington. After Trump won, most of the American diplomats their government had worked with seemed to vanish, and no one replaced them. One Albanian official, who asked not to be identified by name, told me his government felt that ‘‘we had to increase our presence in Washington.’’ I asked him how his government picked Ballard. ‘‘The internet makes it easy,’’ he told me. ‘‘You just Google.’’

巴拉德告诉我,当一个朋友介绍社会党人来找他的时候,他问了两个问题。“我问:‘它是民主国家吗?’是。‘他们是美国的盟友吗?’是。”社会党人讲的故事,是华盛顿人士越来越熟悉的那种。特朗普胜选后,与他们的政府有工作往来的大部分美国外交官似乎消失了,且没有谁来取而代之。一位要求匿名的阿尔巴尼亚官员告诉我,他的政府觉得“我们必须提升自己在华盛顿的存在感”。我问,他的政府如何选中了巴拉德。“互联网让事情变得很简单,”他告诉我。“在谷歌里搜索一下就行。”

But as companies and countries vied for Trump’s ear over the spring, the new Trump lobbyists found themselves competing with one another as much as with the established Washington firms. Ballard, for example, had explored working for members of the Venezuelan opposition. (‘‘I’m no world-peace guy,’’ he told me, ‘‘but I think I can help a little bit.’’) Lewan­dowski’s firm, meanwhile, was pitching Citgo, the American subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. (Avenue eventually signed Citgo, and in August the Trump administration would partly exempt the company from a new round of sanctions on the Venezuelan government.) Ballard was also working out a $1.5 million contract with Turkey — which put him up against Brad Gerstman, Trump’s old New York guy. Gerstman’s firm, Gotham Government Relations, had signed up a company linked to Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric whom the Turkish government blames for fomenting last year’s failed coup.

但随着一些企业和国家在今春争相给特朗普递话,这些新晋的特朗普游说者发现,他们彼此竞争的激烈程度,堪比与老牌华盛顿公司之间的竞争。例如,巴拉德试着为委内瑞拉反对派成员工作。(我并非以世界和平为己任的那种人,”他告诉我,“但我希望尽绵薄之力。”)与此同时,莱万多夫斯基的机构在向委内瑞拉国有石油公司的美国子公司Citgo推销自己。(大道战略最终和Citgo签了约;8月,特朗普政府将把Citgo部分剔除出对委内瑞拉政府的新一轮制裁。)巴拉德还想办法和土耳其签了一份价值150万美元的合约——这让他和特朗普在纽约的老相识布拉德·格斯曼成为对手。格斯曼的哥谭政府关系公司(Gotham Government Relations)与一家跟费特胡拉·居伦(Fethullah Gulen)有关联的公司签了约。居伦是一名现居宾夕法尼亚州的穆斯林神职人员,土耳其政府把去年的一场未遂政变归咎于他。

Not many lobbyists wanted to represent the Gulenists, partly because Trump appeared to have already picked a side. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey won a widely disputed referendum in April granting himself expanded powers, Trump called to congratulate him. When Erdogan visited the White House some weeks later, Trump praised the bravery of Turkish soldiers and talked about beating ISIS together.

想要为居伦主义者代言的游说者并不多,部分是因为特朗普似乎已经选边了。当土耳其总统雷杰普·塔伊普·埃尔多安(Recep Tayyip Erdogan)在今年4月赢得一场引起广泛争议的公投,被授予更多权力时,特朗普打电话向他祝贺。当几周后埃尔多安到访白宫时,特朗普称赞了土耳其士兵的勇敢,还谈及了共同打击伊斯兰国一事。

I watched Erdogan and Trump’s joint news conference on TV with Gerst­man, who had been hired to spread the word about Erdogan’s worldwide oppression of Gulenists. When Erdogan referred to the Gulen ‘‘terrorist organization,’’ you could see Trump purse his lips during the translation, then nod a few times. It wasn’t totally clear what the president was nodding about. Gerstman remained hopeful. ‘‘Our view is that six months from now, everything is going to look different,’’ he told me. ‘‘It’s fluid. It’s dynamic.’’ He looked thoughtful. ‘‘One thing we know about President Trump is he’s not afraid to change.’’

我和格斯曼一起在电视上看了埃尔多安和特朗普的联合新闻发布会。格斯曼已受雇传播关于埃尔多安在世界各地打压居伦主义者的消息。当埃尔多安谈及居伦“恐怖主义组织”的时候,你可以看到特朗普在工作人员进行翻译期间抿了抿嘴,随后点了几次头。无法十分清楚地判定总统点头赞同的是什么。格斯曼仍怀有希望。“我们认为,再过六个月,一切看上去都会不一样,”他告诉我。“情况会不断变化。是动态的。”他看上去若有所思。“据我们对特朗普总统所知,他不是一个害怕改变的人。”

One afternoon in late April, Jolly, Stryk’s marquee Trumpworld hire, called me out of the blue. He was leaving S.P.G., he said. He told me he had grown uncomfortable with the firm’s auditions for foreign clients, so he was going back to his own political-consulting business.

四月下旬的一个午后,斯特莱克那位来自特朗普团队的招牌手下乔利,突然打电话给我。他说他要离开SPG了。他告诉我,该公司招揽外国客户的方式让他不太舒服,因此他要回去做自己的政治咨询业务。

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