Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are fascinating. The pair is widely touted as a moderating force on President Donald Trump, but in an episode of Last Week Tonight that aired Sunday, John Oliver revealed how little the country knows about one of its most important power couples.
“It is dangerous to think of them as a moderating influence,” Oliver said.
The pair holds incredibly important positions. Ivanka Trump has been appointed as assistant to the president, while Kushner has been given an incredible list of responsibilities that include working on peace in the Middle East and managing the opioid crisis.
“It is not unusual for powerful men to give their son-in-laws do-nothing jobs, but leave it to Donald Trump, who can’t even get nepotism right, to give his a do-everything job,” Oliver said.
There is an image that the couple is a competent force influencing the machinations of the Trump administration, but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Kushner rarely makes public speaking appearances, and Ivanka fails to make a convincing case in interviews that she has had much of an impact on Trump’s policies.
“I think most of the impact I have, over time, most people will not actually know about,” Ivanka told Gayle King in an interview.
Following the interview, King suggested that Ivanka may have been referring to climate change and Planned Parenthood as some of the areas she may have an impact. In practice, though, the Trump administration has appointed climate change denier Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and has gone on the attack against Planned Parenthood funding.
In another interview, Ivanka made claims about Trump’s family leave and childcare policies, an area she seemed pleased to discuss. However, Ivanka claimed that Hillary Clinton’s website failed to mention either topic at all, an easily disproven statement.
“It seems when it comes to lying about easily observable facts, the apple does not fall far from the orange,” Oliver said.
Kushner has been photographed in many important meetings alongside Trump, but it’s questionable whether he is qualified for the amount of work he’s been tasked with, a workload even the smartest person on Earth would struggle with. But many commentators believe that the alternative, which would be Steve Bannon taking on more responsibilities, would be far worse.
“We shouldn’t be excited about a top White House advisor simply because he is preferable to a man best described as every dark thought humanity has ever had, inhabiting the long dead corpse of a Civil War-era plantation owner, that even his fellow plantation owners called ‘a bit much’,” Oliver said.
Last Week Tonight airs Sundays on HBO.