Liberal CNN commentator Van Jones stuns CPAC audience by praising conservatives
The former Obama administration official praises the conservative movement for taking the lead on criminal justice reform.
“The View” co-host Sunny Hostin confronted CNN commentator Van Jones Friday over both his kind words for former President Donald Trump and his willingness to work with the previous administration on criminal justice reform.
Jones appeared on the ABC show to promote his new documentary, “The Reunited States,” which was co-produced by “View” co-host Meghan McCain. However, he received a rude welcome from Hostin, who appeared to slam Jones’ past unity efforts and called out his inconsistent rhetoric toward Trump.
“Now, Van, you do spend a lot of time, you know, threading the middle and trying to unite people, but there are those who really accuse you of being a political opportunist, a chameleon, so to speak, who provided racial cover for former, disgraced, twice-impeached President Trump,” Hostin began. “You said this, and I quote, ‘Donald Trump, and I get beat up by liberals every time I say this, but I’m gonna keep saying it. He has done good stuff for the Black community. Opportunity zone stuff, Black college stuff. There’s a side to Donald Trump that I think he does not give enough credit for.'”
Hostin then recalled Jones shedding tears of joy after the network called Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election his statement that ‘it’s easier to be a parent now, character matters now, truth matters,’ and his invocation of George Floyd by saying people “couldn’t breathe.”
“People in the Black community don’t trust you anymore,” Hostin told Jones. “What is your response?”
“I don’t think that that’s true,” Jones pushed back. He then explained the context of his quote praising Trump, which also mentioned what Jones called the “horrific stuff” the 45th president also did.
Jones then touted his record on criminal justice reform, including the passing of the First Step Act.
“My entire life has been about bringing people together to solve tough problems for people at the very bottom who don’t have everything,” Jones said. “I have spent 25 years fighting against the prison system, I have helped close five abusive prisons. And by working with Republicans at the local, state, and federal level, and yes, including the Trump administration, I have helped to pass 18 bipartisan bills …
“Black Lives Matter, math matters too, 80% of Black folks are locked up in states that are run in part or whole by Republicans — red states and purple states … the people sitting behind bars aren’t thinking, ‘Get me out of prison Van, but whatever you do, don’t talk to Republicans.'”
Jones continued, “People might not have liked everything I have said on television. I try to be balanced, but look at what I’ve done! Who among my critics have been able to get people together to help folks at the bottom? When we fight like this about everything, and you can’t give anybody even a little bit of credit for anything, who hurts?
It’s not the politicians, it’s not the pundits, it’s regular [people] who don’t have anything … We have to put their interests first. I’m never going to apologize for putting the interest of people at the bottom first. People need champions whoever is in that White House. I’ve got a responsibility to go in there and advocate and try to get people home out of prison.”
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Hostin wasn’t the only ‘View” co-host who was hostile to Jones. His own CNN colleague Ana Navaro attempted to shame him for taking a smiling picture with conservative commentator Candace Owens.
“Do you not regret that?” Navarro asked. “Do you not see that you’re giving her legitimacy?”
“No,” Jones firmly responded.
Joy Behar quickly wrapped up the interview and told Jones to “take a nap.”
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