Julia Ioffe: Trump is Tied Down Like ‘Gulliver By the Lilliputians’


On Monday — after a long discussion of Star Wars, the gang over at Morning Joe moved onto more the familiar subject matter of the Donald Trump-Russia investigation.

Two regular panelists, Bianna Golodryga and Julia Ioffe parsed whether Barack Obama could have acted more decisively before the election to expose Russian meddling in the contest.

In the process, things got a little literary with Ioffe suggesting that Trump was tied down like “Gulliver by the Lilliputians”

“Would you agree that had the Obama administration started this conversation and really sort if laid out the evidence to the American public sooner, there would have been more pressure on Vladimir Putin?” asked Golodryga. “You’re seeing real economic plight for the majority of Russians there. You’ve got a lot of corruption charges. You’re seeing protests on a weekly basis. Would this not have been much worse for Vladimir Putin if Obama had spoken out much sooner.”

Julia Ioffe politely offered her response — dismissing all Golodryga suggestions as wrong.

“This story isn’t a factor for Putin domestically and the protests aren’t nearly that frequent and economic plight for Russians, they kind of expect it. When they have a boom in the economy, it’s like a vacation and then when it ends they’re going back to regular life now. They’re not like Americans who expect the economy to be great and getting better all the time,” she said.

Ioffe did suggest that Putin’s geopolitical goals for Trump were now mostly in ruins.

“He’s helped install this guy in the White House, that is very friendly to him, but he’s tied,” she said. “Like, a friend of Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said, ‘now Trump is tied down like Gulliver by the Lilliputians. He can’t make any maneuvers toward Russia, toward reconciliation with Russia without everything being questioned and decried and hyper-scrutinized.”

The reference of course is to satirist Jonathan Swift’s famous work Gulliver’s Travels, and specifically to the title character’s brief imprisonment on the fictional island of Lilliput.

[image via screengrab]

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