On Sunday night, John Oliver dedicated the opening portion of Last Week Tonight to the “series of setbacks” for President Trump this week, from his failure of a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to the congressional testimony of Trump’s former fixer (and ex-RNC deputy finance chair) Michael Cohen.
“Over the course of the hearing, Cohen described several possible crimes by his former boss, from suborning perjury to campaign finance violations, and yet, the Republicans primarily used their time to attack Cohen’s credibility,” offered Oliver in a brief recap.
But the HBO host was most riled up by the revelation that President Trump is said to have ordered his former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to grant Jared Kushner top-secret security clearance—despite the protestations of Kelly and national security officials.
“One major issue with Jared having access to state secrets is, you know, it’s Jared—a guy who, even among Jareds, stands out as the ‘Jared’ of the group,” joked Oliver. “But the other issue with his top secret clearance concerns national security,” said Oliver, pointing to a Washington Post report stating that officials from Israel, China, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates saw Kushner as “exploitable” and hoped to manipulate him—not to mention how Kushner, as Oliver noted, “initially failed to disclose meetings with Russian agents to the FBI, and there have been concerns over his dealings with foreign businessmen and officials.”
Of course, both President Trump and his daughter—and senior adviser—Ivanka have repeatedly denied on the record that Kushner received any sort of special treatment.
“The president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband’s clearance,” Ivanka told Abby Huntsman on The View.
“Oh, please,” said Oliver. “I honestly don’t know what’s sadder there: either Ivanka is knowingly lying about her Dad forcing her and Jared’s security clearance through, or she genuinely thinks they got it on merit on their own. And if it is the latter, Ivanka, there are some things that you really should know.”
He continued: “You only became an executive vice president of the Trump Organization at 24 because you’re Donald Trump’s daughter, not because you are a 24-year-old business prodigy. You only got a book deal because you’re Donald Trump’s daughter, not because you’re a brilliant author and wordsmith. And you only hosted the Miss Teen USA pageant because your Dad owned the contest, not for your sparkling on-camera presence.”