Democratic CNN host Van Jones caught heat on Twitter Thursday after praising conservatives about criminal justice reform efforts
The Van Jones Show host took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference, saying conservatives are “leaders” on criminal justice reform, according to The National Review, conservative-leaning publication.
“The conservative movement in this country, unfortunately from my point of view, is now the leader on this issue of reform,” Jones said, sparking a furor on social media. Folks did not read or hear him say, “unfortunately from my point of view,” just that conservatives are “leaders.”
VAN JONES to CPAC: "Here's the deal — the conservative movement in this country… is now the leader on this issue of [criminal justice] reform… take some dadgum credit for being smart. Take some dadgum credit for getting it right." #yikes pic.twitter.com/GUuufkCSBe
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 28, 2019
He sat alongside CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp during a discussion about the criminal-justice-reform package that was passed in December. The package seeks to “reduce mass incarceration and high recidivism rates by expanding the pool of inmates eligible to participate in early-release programs, among other policy changes.”
van jones praises trump on cnn, goes to the white house and hangs out with jared and ivanka, goes to cpac to hail conservatives. i mean… pic.twitter.com/1OtCetzrXL
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) February 28, 2019
Honestly, what the hell is Van Jones endgame here? This is completely embarrassing and laughable on its face. https://t.co/mmzzPZLX7i
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) February 28, 2019
Jones, played an active role in seeking liberal support for reform package, called the First Step Act, that would increase the number of inmates who would be able to receive “good-time credits”. The bill also reduces the sentences for inmates who are charged with offenses that are drug-related and nonviolent, among other changes.
He worked with senior advisor, Jared Kushner and other Trump administration officials to gain support for the bill, but then pushed back on his efforts when progressive lawmakers and activists opposed it.
This was not the first time Jones, a former member of the Obama administration, has come under fire for praising Republicans.
He was criticized for praising Trump’s stance on criminal justice reform in November, according to The Washington Post.
As a response to the president passing the First Step Act, Jones took to Twitter stating:
Give the man his due:
@realDonaldTrump is on his way to becoming the uniter-in-Chief on an issue that has divided America for generations. Congrats to everyone on both sides who fought for this. #FIRSTSTEPact #CriminalJusticeSummit #CriminalJusticeReform #justicereform #Trump
Social media users, on the other hand, criticized Jones and did not think it was suitable to give the president his credit. They disagreed with the notion that Trump is an “uniter.”