The Revenge of the Trump Tattletales
Beware the number of enemies you make, and pray to God they don’t have literary agents.
That’s a lesson President Trump never learned. But he’ll be schooled anew in late July, the scheduled publication date for a book by his niece, Mary Trump. Spoiler alert: She’s not defending the honor of a misunderstood uncle. She’s reportedly plunging a dagger into him, though its lethalness is unclear. It’s not as if she had an Ivanka-grade seat to the circus of his life.
John Bolton had an excellent, if briefly occupied, perch as the third of Trump’s four national security advisers so far. That’s surely why he makes the president so nervous. Trump and his flunkies are raging about and suing to delay distribution of Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened,” set for release early next week. (“He’s broken the law,” Trump fumed on Monday, referring to the administration’s claims that Bolton is trafficking in classified information. “I would think that he would have criminal problems.”) But Martha Raddatz of ABC News has done a long interview with Bolton to be aired on Sunday. One way or another, the truth will come out.
作为特朗普目前为止的四任国家安全顾问的第三任，约翰·博尔顿(John Bolton)占据了有利（尽管短暂）的视角。这必然也是他让总统如此紧张的原因。特朗普和他的喽啰们愤怒抗议，要通过起诉让博尔顿的书推迟发行，《事发之室》(The Room Where It Happened)原定于下周初出版。（“他违反了法律，”特朗普在周一愤怒地提到了政府对博尔顿兜售机密信息的指控。“我认为他会有刑事问题。”）但ABC新闻频道(ABC News)的玛莎·拉达兹(Martha Raddatz)已经对博尔顿做了一个很长的采访，并于周日播出。不管怎样，真相总会大白。
Then again, the truth was never in. While most presidential administrations leak like kitchen faucets — or at worst, garden hoses — Trump’s leaks like Niagara Falls, as many unflattering books and much unsparing journalism have already shown. And while most presidential administrations have a few embittered exiles, Trump’s has a teeming diaspora of disgusted refugees, many of whom tattled as soon as they fled, either on the record or in whispers to reporters.
But many others have yet to spill the beans, at least not every last lima, pinto and garbanzo, and I think we’re on the cusp of a bean buffet. As Trump grows even meaner and more erratic and as the election nears, the impulse to expose him will intensify. It could be what topples him.
In addition to the books I mentioned and a rumored tell-all by the Trump fixer Michael Cohen, there’s the recent denunciation of the president in The Atlantic by Gen. James Mattis, his former defense secretary, who had previously taken such pride in holding his tongue.
除了我提到的书和传闻中特朗普的平事人迈克尔·科恩(Michael Cohen)的全盘揭秘，还有他的前国防部长詹姆斯·马蒂斯(James Mattis)将军最近在《大西洋》(The Atlantic)上对总统的谴责——马蒂斯此前一直以保持缄默为傲。
It was seconded — sort of — by Gen. John Kelly, Trump’s former chief of staff, who clearly has more to say and may well say it between now and November. As I noted in a previous column, the two belong to an array of current and former military leaders who, in an extraordinary break with tradition, have taken public issue with a sitting president, venting their disapproval of Trump.
But there’s no reason to believe that this revolt will be confined to men and women in uniform. Trump has incensed and alarmed officials and staffers in all kinds of institutions and all corners of the government. He has burned through personnel like a pyromaniac.
And that’s just over the three and a half years of his presidency. His path to it is strewn with betrayed business associates, duped clients, ditched friends and estranged family members. Their reticence, to the extent that they practiced it, has always existed in proportion to his potency. The weaker he seems to become, the chattier they’re likely to be. Revenge is a dish best served on CNN.
I’m wondering if there’s another Anthony Scaramucci out there, a post-Mooch snitch. I’m wondering about diplomats who might jettison their last scraps of discretion.
I’m wondering what H.R. McMaster, Trump’s second national security adviser, has to say. I’m wondering what Rex Tillerson, his first secretary of state, hasn’t said yet. Neither strikes me as a figure so partisan that he feels compelled to prop up whoever happens to be leading the Republican Party, including a twisted tyrant like Trump. Neither has the Faustian stench of a Bill Barr, a Mike Pompeo, a Nikki Haley.
我想知道特朗普的第二任国家安全顾问H·R·麦克马斯特(H.R. McMaster)有什么话说。我想知道他的第一任国务卿雷克斯·蒂勒森(Rex Tillerson)还有什么话没说。在我看来，他们俩都没有过于党派化到非支持任何正好在领导共和党的人不可，包括像特朗普这样扭曲的暴君。他们俩都没有散发如比尔·巴尔(Bill Barr)、迈克·庞皮欧(Mike Pompeo)或尼基·黑利(Nikki Haley)那样浮士德式的恶臭。
But those are just the names we recognize, the associates who are on our radar. Trump’s niece wasn’t. At this point his detractors are so legion that there’s no way for him and his unscrupulous sentries to head all of them off at the pass. They’re like a zombie apocalypse, lurching straight for the White House.
Yes, I know, Trump has survived the display of piles of his dirty laundry before, readily recasts unethical behavior as boldness and blithely dismisses horror over his antics as the last gasps of a faltering establishment. In the context of his brand, the title of Mary Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough,” is less affront than affirmation. It sounds like a James Bond movie. (The subtitle, “How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” sounds more like a “Frankenstein” remake.)
是的，我知道，特朗普经过一连串的丑闻后还是活了下来，欣然将不道德行为曲解为大胆，快活地将人们对他反常举止的恐惧视为摇摇欲坠的权势集团的最后喘息。在他这样的声名下，玛丽·特朗普的书名《太多而永远不够》(Too Much and Never Enough)与其说是冒犯，不如说是肯定。它听起来就像一部詹姆斯·邦德(James Bond)电影。（副标题“我的家族如何创造出世界上最危险的人”倒更像是《弗兰肯斯坦》的翻拍。）
But there comes a tipping point when the people who saw you up close and cringe at the memory cannot be shrugged off. And for Uncle Donald, it may fast be arriving.