Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump — “like America’s William and Kate, except in this case, both of them are attractive” — are two of the only figures in the White House that are “widely admired,” John Oliver said. On Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver broke down why their influence and political power is actually quite scary.
Oliver noted that both Kushner and Trump have substantial roles in the Donald Trump White House. Trump has taken an “unpaid position as assistant to the president, and as for Jared, well he seems to have a hand in basically everything,” Oliver said.
The late-night comedian set out to answer two “basic questions” about the couple, given the amount of power they now hold.
“Is Ivanka really the moderating influence people claim?” he asked. “And what in Jared’s background justifies such a gigantic White House portfolio?”
Oliver noted that Ivanka is the exact opposite of her father: “He’s crazy, she’s poised and restraint.” However, he said, the perception that Trump disagreed with her father politically may not actually be an accurate assessment of her character. Oliver’s proof was an interview between Ivanka and CBS ‘s Gayle King in which Ivanka said, “I think most of the impact I have over time most people will not actually know about.”
“Oh, well, that’s convenient” Oliver said sarcastically. “So we should just give her credit when good stuff happens, and blame others when bad stuff happens? That’s not a job description of a political adviser. That’s a description of an Old Testament God. And that answer there enables you to project whatever you want onto her based on secondhand rumors and assumptions.”
Oliver also played an eyebrow-raising quote from Trump’s book ,”The Trump Card,” where she wrote that “perception is more important than reality. If someone perceives something to be true, it is more important than if it is in fact true.”
Oliver also took swings at Jared Kushner, questioning all of his so-called qualifications to be able to do things like solve problems in the Middle East and cure an opioid epidemic.
“The main thing qualifying Jared for his position is not so much who he is, but who he isn’t” Oliver said, referring to Steve Bannon. “There has to be a third option here.”
“I don’t know enough about them to eviscerate them, just as you don’t know enough about them to justify putting any real hopes in them.”