Oliver explained the flaws behind an assumption that the couple has been a moderating influence on U.S. President Donald Trump.
Ivanka is now assistant to her father and her husband, Kushner, has been tasked with a number of responsibilities including brokering peace in the Middle East, reforming the criminal justice system and running the Office of American Innovation.
In his segment, he wondered: “Is Ivanka really the moderating influence that people claim? And what in Jared’s background justifies such a gigantic White House portfolio?”
“Jared’s portfolio would be unmanageable for the smartest man on Earth,” Oliver said.
In regards to Ivanka, Oliver said: “She is the exact opposite of her dad. He’s crazy, she’s poised and restrained. And she is impressively on message at all times. That ability to apparently say nothing, and yet consistently support her dad, can actually apply to her political views as well, because the assumption that many of us have that she disagrees with him isn’t actually based on much.”
He made reference to an interview with Ivanka on CBS with Gayle King, where she says in response to a question about a time when she managed to change or soften her father’s position on something: “I think most of the impact I have, over time, most people will not actually know about.”
“Well that’s convenient, so we should just give her credit when good stuff happens, and then blame others when bad stuff happens. That’s not a description of a political adviser, that’s the description of an Old Testament god,” Oliver said. “And that answer there enables you to project whatever you want onto her based on secondhand rumours and assumptions.”
Ivanka rarely gives any specifics when she talks about the issues upon which she and her father disagree. Oliver asked, “Is it possible that she is doing nothing to moderate her father?”
The host shared a quote from one of Ivanka’s books, The Trump Card, in which she wrote, “Perception is more important than reality. If someone perceives something to be true, it is more important than if it is in fact true… Don’t go out of your way to correct a false assumption if it plays to your advantage.”
Turning to Ivanka’s husband, Oliver took a look into Kushner’s experience to try to figure out what makes him qualified for the role he has been given in the Trump administration.
He compared Kushner to Where’s Waldo: “If you look at photos of Trump’s meetings … he’s in all of them.”
Oliver mentioned that many of Kushner’s fans like him for his ability to listen. “Just because you’re quiet doesn’t mean that you’re thinking something amazing,” Oliver said.
He also mentioned that Kushner’s Harvard education “doesn’t mean anything” because “The Unabomber went to Harvard. Ted Cruz went to Harvard.”
The comedian concluded, “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.” He continued, “If they are the reason you are sleeping at night you should probably still be awake.”