Politics

Why John Oliver Doubts That Ivanka Trump Will Influence Her Father

April 24th 2017

By:
Mike Rothschild

In a 22 minute segment on his HBO show, John Oliver dug deeply into the assumption that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be "moderating influences" on President Donald Trump.

Oliver explains that both Ivanka and Jared have outsized, nebulous roles in the White House.

Ivanka serves as a senior advisor, giving input on key decisions, and Kushner was given a portfolio that includes tackling everything from massive government overhauls to solving the opioid crisis to bringing peace to the Middle East.

As Oliver asks, "Is Ivanka really the moderating influence that people claim?...and what in Jared’s background justifies such a gigantic White House portfolio?” However, as Oliver shows with a range of TV clips, their true personalities are shrouded in mystery, meaning these two simple questions are virtually impossible to answer.

Ivanka has been a public face of the Trump brand for two decades, and has been trained to give answers that seem poised and informative, while actually being empty and evasive on-message talking points.

Oliver points out that while many pundits have claimed Ivanka will have no problem disagreeing with her father, there's little evidence that she actually does, or that she has ever done so in any official capacity.

As ATTN: has pointed out, Ivanka has claimed many times to support issues like Planned Parenthood, climate change, and LGBT rights. Yet all of these have all suffered under the Trump administration so far, with Trump signing legislation to allow states to defund Planned Parenthood, a climate change denier installed as head of the EPA, and Trump rolling back protections for LGBT workers — meaning her "disagreement" either has no weight or doesn't exist.

Meanwhile, Kushner's often-praised skills aren't backed up by real world experience.

He's been showered with compliments about his intellect, listening skills, "uncluttered mind," and capacity for deftly mastering complex issues in real estate and international relations, but Oliver reveals that these kudos aren't supported by first-hand evidence, as Kushner himself rarely speaks.

Beyond that, his known business dealings have been a mixed bag. When digging into Kushner's business record, Oliver found that he massively overpaid for the Fifth Avenue building he bought for his first major deal running his family real estate company, and that his widely-touted Harvard education was seemingly built on poor grades and a large donation from his father.

Ultimately, Oliver is can't find much in Kushner that justifies his enormous responsibilities, other than being quiet and not Steve Bannon.

Even with of the dirt he digs up, Oliver determines that we can't say for sure what kind of influence Ivanka and Jared will have on Trump, because the public knows almost nothing about either one, and both are ciphers that anyone can project almost anything on. He finds himself unable to eviscerate them or find comfort in their presence — which might be the most troubling aspect of his segment.

Click here to watch Oliver's full video: