WASHINGTON — John Brennan spent a career in the CIA defending the United States against its enemies. For decades, that meant terrorists, rogue regimes or the Russians. For him now, it means the president of the United States.
When Brennan accused President Donald Trump of treason following Monday’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, it opened a floodgate. The New York Daily News used the banner headline “OPEN TREASON” on its cover. Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel called it treason on their late-night shows.
周一，唐纳德·特朗普总统与俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔·普京(Vladimir Putin)会晤后，布伦南指责特朗普总统叛国，这如同开启了泄洪闸一般。《纽约每日新闻》(The New York Daily News)在封面上使用了通栏大标题《公然叛国》(OPEN TREASON)。史蒂芬·科尔伯特(Stephen Colbert)和吉米·基梅尔(Jimmy Kimmel)在自己的深夜秀节目中也称之为叛国。
In a presidency without precedent, mark another moment for the history books.
While the T-word has been thrown around on the fringes of the political debate about other presidents or politicians from time to time, never in the modern era has it become part of the national conversation in such a prominent way. Never in anyone’s lifetime has a president engendered such a wave of discussion about whether his real loyalty was to a foreign power over his own country.
To the president’s defenders, this all sounds like a sign of what they often call Trump Derangement Syndrome. That he drives his critics to such extremes, they argue, says more about them than it does about Trump. But the president has had fewer such defenders in the last 24 hours, with prominent Republicans and even some of Trump’s traditional allies lambasting his performance and distancing themselves from him.
The list of Republicans criticizing Trump’s deferential meeting with Putin includes not just the usual suspects like Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Ben Sasse of Nebraska but friends of the president like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who called it “the most serious mistake of his presidency,” and the conservative editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, which called it a “national embarrassment.”
批评特朗普与普京会面时毕恭毕敬的共和党人不仅包括亚利桑那州参议员约瑟夫·麦凯恩(John McCain)和内布拉斯加州的本·萨斯(Ben Sasse)这样经常怀疑特朗普的人，还包括总统的朋友，如前众议院议长纽特·金里奇(Newt Gingrich)，他说这是“他总统任期内最严重的错误”。保守的《华尔街日报》(The Wall Street Journal)社论版称这件事为“国家的尴尬”。
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, a former CIA operative, suggested that Trump had become a stooge of the Russians. “I’ve seen Russian intelligence manipulate many people over my professional career and I never would have thought that the US President would become one of the ones getting played by old KGB hands,” he wrote on Twitter.
Even before the meeting, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, who lost the Republican presidential nomination to Trump in 2016, suggested that Americans read “The Manchurian Candidate,” the classic Cold War thriller in which the scion of a political family turns out to be a brainwashed sleeper agent for the communists.
甚至在这次会面之前，佛罗里达州前州长、2016年在共和党总统候选人提名中输给特朗普的杰布·布什(Jeb Bush)就已建议美国人看一看《满洲候选人》(The Manchurian Candidate)，这是一部经典的冷战惊悚片，其中一个政治家族的后裔后来被发现遭到共产党洗脑，成了他们的潜伏特工。
There was a time when mainstream political actors and media commentators would never use words like “treason” or “traitor” to describe a president. Even in the norm-shattering 18 months of Trump’s tenure, the term until now had been relegated mainly to the angriest and most conspiratorial corners of Twitter and the internet.
But Trump’s meeting with Putin seemed to change the discourse in a dramatic way. With the Russian leader at his side in Helsinki, Trump effectively took the word of a former KGB officer over that of U.S. intelligence agencies on the question of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Asked at a news conference if he would condemn the Russian cyber operation, Trump chose instead to condemn the FBI for investigating it.
He uttered not a word of specific criticism of Russia despite its illegal seizure of a neighbor’s territory from Ukraine or the nerve agent poisoning of a Kremlin enemy on British soil. And Putin contributed to the perception of an unusual coziness when he confirmed that he had supported Trump in the 2016 election because he was confident the American businessman would be friendlier to Moscow.
That was too much for Brennan, who had already emerged as one of Trump’s most vocal critics.
“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors,'” Brennan, who served under presidents of both parties and rose to CIA director under President Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter. “It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
Within hours, others chimed in. “If you’re wondering whether or not Vladimir Putin has an incriminating video of Donald Trump, we now know beyond a treasonable doubt that he does,” Kimmel said on his late-night show. “He better. This wasn’t a good day for Donald Trump. We haven’t seen an American so owned by a Russian since ‘Rocky IV.'”
On his own show, Colbert used a calculator to add up what he saw as the elements of Trump’s performance. “OK, egotism plus na?veté times false equivalence equals — yeah, treason,” he said.
Max Boot, the onetime conservative who has become one of Trump’s sharpest critics, noted in a column in The Washington Post on Monday that accusing him of treason was once unthinkable. No longer. “If anyone is ‘the enemy of the people,’ it is Trump himself,” he wrote.
曾经是保守派人士的马克斯·布特(Max Boot)，如今成为了特朗普最尖锐的批评者之一。他周一在《华盛顿邮报》(The Washington Post)的一篇专栏中指出，指控他叛国曾经是不可想像的。如今再也不是这样了。“如果说有哪个人是‘人民的敌人’，那就是特朗普他自己了，”他写道。
Trump responded by calling Brennan a “very bad guy” in an interview with Fox News. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., likewise scorned Brennan. “This is coming from the guy who voted for the Communist Party USA candidate in 1976,” he wrote on Twitter. “Give me a break.” Brennan has acknowledged voting for Gus Hall, the Communist candidate in 1976, as a rebellious young man “signaling my unhappiness with the system,” but never considered himself a Communist.
在福克斯新闻的采访中，特朗普作出回应，称布伦南是一个“非常坏的人”。肯塔基州共和党参议员兰德·保罗(Rand Paul)也对布伦南作出了类似的轻蔑言论。“这种批评出自一名曾经在1976年投票给美国共产党候选人的人，”他在Twitter上写道。“别逗我了。”布伦南承认过，1976年投票给共产党候选人格斯·豪尔(Gus Hall)是一名叛逆的年轻人“表达对整个体系的不满”，但他从未认为自己是共产党人。
Trump’s supporters said the president’s critics have gone off the deep end. Lou Dobbs, the Fox Business Network host, said Monday night that Trump’s opponents overlooked times when Obama tried to influence foreign elections, such as when his former aides worked against the re-election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.
特朗普的支持者表示，批评总统的人已经失去了控制。福克斯商业频道(Fox Business Network)主持人卢·多布斯(Lou Dobbs)周一晚间表示，特朗普的政敌多次无视奥巴马曾试图影响外国选举，例如他的前助手竭力反对以色列总理本雅明·内塔尼亚胡(Benjamin Netanyahu)的连任。
He said Trump has made great progress in foreign policy by crippling the Islamic State group and holding unfair trading partners to account. “I mean, these are fools who are prattling off their complaints today about the way he conducted himself in a joint press conference with the president of Russia,” Dobbs said. “It’s idiotic.”