John Oliver on Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner: president 'can't even get nepotism right'

The host of Last Week Tonight discussed the pair and how it is ‘dangerous to think of them as a moderating influence, as reassuring as that may feel’

John Oliver has talked about the misconception that many people have about Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner acting as a moderating influence within the White House.

On his HBO show Last Week Tonight, he referred to them as “America’s William and Kate, except in this case, both of them are attractive.”

He then listed the many jobs Donald Trump has given to his son-in-law, including brokering peace in the Middle East and solving the opioid epidemic in the US. “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 then focused on Ivanka, “Trump’s only daughter except for, and somehow including, Tiffany.”

In the drama that is the Trump family, “Ivanka has been cast as the calm, reasonable, indoor-voiced one” by her father, a “colossal fucking creep”.

Oliver then covered the many assumptions pundits have about Ivanka and her influence within the White House, citing Gayle King who assumed she would somehow use her position to help Planned Parenthood. “It’s the same that way I assume Johnny Depp’s penis also has its own miniature hat and goatee,” he said.

One issue she has been vocal about is paid leave for new parents and Oliver played a clip of Ivanka saying that Hillary Clinton didn’t have any information on the subject on her site, an outright lie. “It seems when it comes to lying about easily observable facts, the apple does not fall far from the orange,” he said.

Oliver understands why people want to think of her in a good light. “It is possible that she’s doing nothing to moderate her father and I understand that there is an impulse not to want to think about that just like you don’t want to think about the fact that it is also possible that in the White House right now, her father may be bowling naked,” he said.

He then moved on to her husband, “a sentient Kohl’s mannequin that read a book once”, and Oliver showed pictures of various meetings in the White House that Jared attended.

“Basically Jared is either being invited to every important meeting or he died in the White House in the late 1800s and he’s been haunting it ever since,” he said.

His Harvard education is frequently cited as proof by pundits that he’s a smart person to have around. “That’s not really evidence of anything,” he said. “The Unabomber went to Harvard. Ted Cruz went to Harvard.”

In order to make him appear more desirable, he has often been compared with some of Trump’s more extreme advisers. “Jared Kushner is not Steve Bannon, but that is a low bar,” he said. “That recommendation would get you no other job. We shouldn’t be excited about a top White House adviser 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’.”

He referred to him as a “creepily silent 36-year-old heir to a real estate fortune” before admitting that he doesn’t “know enough about them to eviscerate them” because of the enigmatic interviews they give.

“It is dangerous to think of them as a moderating influence, as reassuring as that may feel,” he said. “If they are the reason you’re sleeping at night then you should probably still be awake.”

Guardian staff

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