您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 国际 >> 正文

在华盛顿的牛排馆,偷听到特朗普的独家新闻

更新时间:2017-9-21 11:36:23 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

‘Isn’t That the Trump Lawyer?’: A Reporter’s Accidental Scoop
在华盛顿的牛排馆,偷听到特朗普的独家新闻

WASHINGTON — I have always thought of overhearing conversations as an underappreciated journalistic tool.

华盛顿——我一直觉得,偷听别人交谈是一种被低估的新闻手段。

When political donors, lobbyists and politicians gather at hotels for meetings and strategy sessions, they often keep out reporters. But they usually can’t keep us out of the lobby bars and restaurants where they gather afterward to gossip. And I’ve picked up all manner of tantalizing nuggets — from U.S. senators, billionaire donors and influential operatives, among others — by positioning myself within earshot of those conversations while nursing a beer at the bar.

当政治捐助者、游说者和政治家聚集在酒店开会和举行策略会议时,他们往往把记者拒之门外。但是开完会后,他们聚在大堂酒吧和餐馆里讲闲话时,通常是无法把我们拦在外面的。我从联邦参议员、亿万富豪捐助者和关键工作人员那里获得过各种各样的重要消息——方法就是在酒吧里一边拿着啤酒,一边在靠近他们的地方竖起耳朵。

Sometimes, those nuggets have been featured in my journalism, including in my behind-the-scenes reporting on how major donors have influenced politics; more often, they’ve merely helped me add texture to my reporting on money and influence.

有时候,这些消息会出现在我的新闻报道中,包括关于重要捐助者如何影响政治的一些幕后报道,更常见的情况是,它们仅仅是为我那些关于金钱权力的报道增加质感。

But I’ve never overheard a conversation quite like the one I accidentally encountered last Tuesday, when I met a source for lunch at BLT Steak, a downtown Washington steakhouse frequented by the capital’s expense-account set. My source chose the restaurant, but I didn’t protest, since BLT is on the same block as The New York Times’s Washington bureau and has a delightful tuna niçoise salad with fingerling potatoes and green beans.

但在以前,我从来没有听到过上周二偶然听到的那种对话,当时我去华盛顿牛排餐厅BLT Steak见一个线人,这家餐厅位于市中心,很多公款报销的餐饮发票就来自这里。是我的线人选择了这家餐厅,但是我没有反对,因为BLT与《纽约时报》华盛顿分社办公室就在同一个街区,而且那里的金枪鱼尼斯沙拉配小土豆和青豆很不错。

Being a rare temperate day in Washington with tolerable humidity, we requested a table in the restaurant’s outdoor section, which abuts a busy sidewalk. Not long after we’d ordered, my source noticed someone he thought he recognized being seated at the table behind me.

那天华盛顿的温度罕见地宜人,湿度也还马虎,我们找了该餐厅露天区的一张桌子,靠近繁忙的人行道。不久之后,我的线人发现坐在我背后那张桌子旁的那个人他认识。

“Isn’t that the Trump lawyer?” he asked.

“那不是特朗普的律师吗?”他问。

I turned slightly in my chair and noticed the unmistakable visage of Ty Cobb, the veteran Washington lawyer with a prominent handlebar mustache, who was accompanied by another man I did not immediately recognize. Mr. Cobb had been retained by the White House in July to coordinate its response to investigations into Russia’s connections with President Trump and his associates, including whether they conspired to influence the 2016 presidential election.

我在椅子里稍微侧过身,看到那个人无疑是泰·柯布(Ty Cobb),这位华盛顿资深律师留着醒目的八字胡子,和一个我无法立即辨认的同伴坐在邻桌。白宫7月请柯布去协调如何回应特朗普总统及其助手遭受的通俄调查,包括是否串谋影响2016年的总统大选的调查。

My source and I continued chatting as our lunches arrived, even as I periodically strained to hear Mr. Cobb’s conversation with his dining companion, apologizing to my source for seeming more interested in the conversation at the adjacent table than our own. Eventually, he took mercy on me, excusing himself not long after he polished off his crab gazpacho and Caesar salad, and leaving me to focus completely on Mr. Cobb’s conversation, except for a brief and unwitting interruption from a pair of fellow Times journalists passing on the sidewalk on their way to the bureau. I tried to hustle them along when they paused to gently rib me over what must have appeared to be a lonely solo lunch.

我们的午餐上桌了,我和线人继续聊天,即便我时不时地努力去听柯布与其同伴的交谈。我向线人道歉,因为我似乎对偷听邻桌的交谈比对我们自己的谈话更感兴趣。最后,他对我大发善心,在飞快地吃完螃蟹冷菜汤和凯撒沙拉后离开了,让我专心偷听柯布的交谈。之后出现了一个意外的小插曲:时报的两个同事记者沿着人行道去分社时看到我,停下来,善意地嘲笑我一个人吃午餐,我试图赶紧轰走他们。

The interaction didn’t seem to trigger concern from Mr. Cobb and his dining partner. To my astonishment, they were in the midst of a detailed discussion of the Russia investigations being conducted by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and various congressional committees, as well as the strategy of Mr. Trump’s team for responding.

这个插曲似乎并没有引起柯布和同伴的注意。令我惊讶的是,他们正在详细讨论特别检察官罗伯特·S·穆勒三世(Robert S. Mueller III)和国会各委员会进行的通俄调查以及特朗普团队的回应策略。

They were in a public place where they could have been overheard by anyone. I just happened to be a reporter, and I did not misrepresent myself, so I figured their conversation was fair game. I ordered another iced tea, pulled out my phone and began typing out notes, hoping that they would assume I was merely responding to emails, tweeting or surfing the internet.

他们置身于公共场所,任何人都可以偷听到他们的话。我只不过碰巧是个记者,也没有掩饰自己是谁,所以我觉得他们的对话是合理目标。我又点了一杯冰茶,拿出手机,进行文字记录,希望他们认为我只是在回电邮、发推文或是刷网页。

I did not record the conversation, but during a lull in their conversation, I did surreptitiously snap a photo of the pair, emailing it to my colleagues in the Times’ Washington bureau who were covering the Russia investigation, in an effort to identify Mr. Cobb’s dining companion.

我没有录音,但在他们交谈的间歇,我偷偷拍了一张两人同框的照片,并通过电子邮件发给了时报华盛顿分社正在报道调查俄罗斯一事的同事,想查出和柯布共进午餐那个人的身份。

“Ty Cobb having a very revealing convo at blt steak right now on patio w someone I don’t recognize,” I wrote.

“泰·柯布正在BLT牛排馆的露台上和一个我不认识的人聊天,内容非常劲爆,”我写道。

“Can’t tell for sure but looks like John Dowd,” one responded, referring to John M. Dowd, the president’s lead outside attorney in the Russia investigations. “That’s him,” another confirmed.

“不能确定,但看着像约翰·多德,”一名同事回复说。这个同事指的是约翰·M·多德(John M. Dowd)。他是特朗普总统在多项涉及俄罗斯的调查中的首席外部律师。“就是他,”另一名同事证实。

I ordered yet another iced tea, and continued typing away, as Mr. Cobb and Mr. Dowd delved deeper, not paying me any mind.

我又点了一份冰茶,并继续打字。柯布和多德聊得更加深入,根本没注意到我。

They discussed presidential privilege and its effect on document production, tensions on the legal team and their colleagues. Mr. Cobb suggested one colleague was not on the president’s good side, but added, “I’m trying to get the president not to pick a fight with her.”

他们讨论了总统的特权和它对文件出示的影响、法律团队内部的紧张关系和他们的同事。柯布称一名同事不受总统的待见,但接着说,“我正在努力让总统不要找她的茬。”

Finally, after more than 45 minutes of my assiduously listening to their conversation by myself, Mr. Cobb picked up the check and announced to Mr. Dowd, “All right, boss, I got to roll back to my little hole. I’ve got like a seven and a half foot ceiling ... Wilt Chamberlain couldn’t stand up in it.”

最终,在我独自坚持听他们聊了超过45分钟后,柯布买单并向多德宣布,“好了,老大,我得滚回我的小洞去了。我那里的天花板大概只有七英尺半(约合2.3米)高……威尔特·张伯伦(Wilt Chamberlain)都站不直。”

I let the pair leave before me, then hurried back to the office to write a memo for my colleagues summarizing what I’d heard. This overheard conversation, they agreed, had the makings of an interesting story revealing a potentially significant debate within Mr. Trump’s legal team about how to respond to these investigations consuming the Trump presidency.

我让他们两人先我离开,然后匆匆赶回办公室,给同事写了一份备忘录,总结了我听到的内容。他们一致认为,我无意中听到的这次谈话,具备变成一篇有趣的报道的条件。它暴露出在如何回应这些有损特朗普总统形象的调查上,特朗普的法律团队内部可能存在重大争论。

I consulted an editor, who contacted Times Legal. We decided to report out the story. We began contacting people close to the legal team who confirmed that, yes, in fact there was a real divide between Mr. Cobb and the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, about document production strategy. And, yes, there was friction between Mr. Cobb and Mr. McGahn.

我请教了一名编辑,对方联系了时报法务部。我们决定把这个故事报道出来。我们开始联系接近特朗普的法律团队的人士。他们证实,柯布和白宫律师唐纳德·F·麦格恩二世(Donald F. McGahn II)在文件出示策略上确实有分歧。并且柯布和麦格恩之间的确存在矛盾。

That friction was exacerbated, we learned, when word of Mr. Cobb’s overheard lunch conversation reached Mr. McGahn, who chastised Mr. Cobb for his carelessness with sensitive information. The White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, also reprimanded Mr. Cobb for his indiscretion.

我们得知,当柯布吃午饭时的谈话被人偷听的消息传入麦格恩耳中时,两人的矛盾加剧。麦格恩指责柯布对待机密信息粗心大意。白宫幕僚长约翰·F·凯利(John F. Kelly)也批评柯布行事鲁莽。

In an interview with the Times, Mr. Cobb sought to defuse the situation, praising Mr. McGahn, but acknowledging that he and Mr. McGahn are approaching the response to the investigation differently.

接受时报的采访时,柯布试图缓和局面。他称赞了麦格恩,但也承认自己和麦格恩在处理对调查的回应方面存在不同看法。

The resulting story, published Sunday evening, led an editor at The Washington Post to write “It is every Washington reporter’s dream to sit down at a restaurant, overhear secret stuff and get a scoop.”

最终的报道已在周日晚间发表。报道促使《华盛顿邮报》(The Washington Post)的一名编辑写道,“坐在餐馆里无意中听到秘密并抢到独家新闻是每一个华盛顿记者的梦想。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表