Van Jones Rejects ‘Sellout’ Label, Credits Trump for Helping Achieve Prison Reform

The Daily Signal | 3/1/2019 | Staff
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Van Jones, a former Obama administration official and leading commentator on the left, responded Friday to liberal critics who call him a “sellout” for agreeing to talk about prison reform at a major gathering of conservatives.

“If you’re on Twitter calling me a sellout for working with Trump on criminal justice reform, here is what I know about you: If you’re on Twitter, you’re not in a federal prison because they don’t have Twitter in federal prison,” Jones said.

People - Jones - Applause - Crowd - Political

“I don’t have to listen to you. I care about the people that are locked up. That’s what I care about,” Jones said, prompting applause from the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Jones, a CNN contributor who also has his own show on that cable outlet, accepted an invitation to talk about criminal justice reform with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC.

Issues - Democracy - Jones - Democracy - Dictatorship

“There are battleground issues that we don’t agree on, and we should disagree … That’s what democracy means,” Jones said. “Democracy means you don’t have to agree. Dictatorship, you have to agree.”

As part of CNN panels, Jones occasionally has credited President Donald Trump for some policies and remarks. He did so at CPAC as well.

Problems - Battleground - Jones - CPAC - Crowd

“My problems is not the battleground,” Jones told the CPAC crowd. “My problem is there are common-ground issues where we do agree, and we won’t work together on those all too often, and that has got to stop in America.”

As one of relatively few Democrats who would reach out to Trump to help create solutions, Jones has been attacked on Twitter and other social media. He has been called a “sellout” not only for attending CPAC, but generally criticized for working with conservatives to create comprehensive criminal justice reform.

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In a major bipartisan victory for Trump, Congress in December passed and...
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