Van Jones to West Virginians: As Christians, How Can You Back Trump?

CNN's Van Jones revisited part of his infamous "white-lash" rant during an interview of coal miners in West Virginia on Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360: "As a Christian couple, how can you support a Donald Trump when you know the fear he strikes into the hearts of American Muslim children; American Latino children? How do you round that circle?" [video below] During that Election Night rant, the former Obama administration official touted how he had "Muslim friends who are texting me tonight — saying, should I leave the country? I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight."

The left-wing pundit, whose CNN program, The Messy Truth, returns on Wednesday, interviewed five residents of Mingo County, West Virginia about the decline in the coal industry there and Donald Trump's campaign promise to revive it. Jones pointed out that one of the participants, Bo Copley, confronted Hillary Clinton back in May 2016 at a campaign event. Copley asked the Democrat, "How you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs; and then, come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend?"

Midway through the segment, the CNN commentator asked the coal miner (who was laid off in 2015), "You got famous because of the challenge you laid out to Hillary Clinton. If Hillary Clinton had a different position on coal mining, would you have voted for her?" Copley said he wouldn't have voted for Clinton, as he was pro-life. Jones soon followed up with his "fear" question.

The Obama administration alumnus's question visibly upset Copley's wife, Lauren Copley. The coal miner explained that "it hits kind of close to home to her. Some of her family won't speak to me right now because of my support for Donald Trump. Her sister is married to a Jordanian man, and they never expressed their fears to us beforehand."

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Mrs. Copley then countered some of the recent rhetoric from the left about the Trump presidency, while acknowledging Jones's loaded point:

LAUREN COPLEY, BO COPLEY'S WIFE: I wouldn't want anybody to think just because someone's in office that — it's not a dictatorship. This is still America. It is still awesome. God put it here for a reason. And it's a country of immigrants. You can't say we won't let anybody in — but it has to be done the right, responsible way.

But I would like to ask Donald Trump...what are you going to say to those people who are scared — kids who think...something might happen to them or to their father or mother because of their descent?

The transcript of the relevant portions of the Van Jones segment from the January 24, 2017 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:

VAN JONES (voice-over): Bo Copley has been laid off since 2015. He's sort of a coal-mining celebrity for this exchange with Hillary Clinton during the campaign.

BO COPLEY, WEST VIRGINIA MINER (from May 2, 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign event): I just want to know, how you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of — out of jobs; and then, come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend?

(...)

JONES (on-camera): You got famous because of the challenge you laid out to Hillary Clinton. If Hillary Clinton had a different position on coal mining, would you have voted for her?

B. COPLEY: No, sir.

JONES: Why not?

B. COPLEY: On the — on the very fact alone of — of pro-life.

JONES: So many pundits have said if she hadn't offended those coal miners, they would have voted for her. They don't know your heart. They didn't know that there was something underneath that that you also were concerned about.

B. COPLEY: Everyone always thinks that we're — we're one-topic people, you know? Yeah — and we're not.

JONES: You guys are Christians and very proud of it. As a Christian couple, how can you support a Donald Trump when you know the — the fear he strikes into the hearts of American Muslim children; American Latino children? How do you round that circle?

COPLEY: I'm sorry. We — it hits kind of close to home to her. Some of her family won't speak to me right now because of my support for Donald Trump, and—

LAUREN COPLEY, BO COPLEY'S WIFE: We have Muslim-American family.

B. COPLEY: Her sister is married to a Jordanian man and — you know, they never expressed their fears to us beforehand as far as — but—

L. COPLEY: I wouldn't want anybody to think just because someone's in office that — it's not a dictatorship. This is still America. It is still awesome. God put it here for a reason. And it's a — it's a country of immigrants. You can't say we won't let anybody in — but it has to be done the right, responsible way.

But I would like to ask Donald Trump — you know, what are you going to say to those people who are scared — kids who think — you know, something might happen to them or to their father or mother because of their descent?

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