CNN’s Van Jones was the guest on Thursday’s The View where he plugged his primetime weekend show aimed at bringing together conservatives and liberals. While he mostly argued the haughty Michelle Obama-esque “When they go low, we go high” approach for the left, host Sunny Hostin badgered him for that take, saying anything less than hostility to Trump voters was being “complicit.”
The lengthy segment started with the guests naturally asking Jones what he thought about the White House banning his colleague Kaitlan Collins from the Rose Garden yesterday. He blasted the action, saying she did the right and only thing she should’ve done as a reporter. “This is right versus wrong,” he scolded.
Joy Behar asked Jones if the recent public shaming against administration officials was appropriate. Jones touted being raised to follow the Golden Rule, saying that their “bad” behavior wasn’t an excuse to be a “bad person” back. He added:
I see Donald Trump as putting out a negative vibration that a lot of us are starting to pick up on, and we're starting to become what we're fighting. He is A.D.D. Now we're A.D.D. We don't know what's going on, and he doesn't know what's going on. He is mean to everybody, and we're starting to get mean. We should be registering voters who we can win the next election.
Jones went on to call Democrats to do the “work” necessary to defeat Trump in 2020. Sunny Hostin didn’t like Jones’ soft take and asked if the “work” included “speaking truth to power,” meaning following the marching orders of Maxine Waters and confronting the administration in public. He said that was part of it, but the tone needed to be right. “There is a way that sometimes we get so frustrated that we're calling them out and not up,” he noted. After Behar acknowledged she hated being heckled in public as well, Jones buttered up the host:
Joy, here's what I think about you. I think you are on a mission that you are likely to fail at because you are not going to be able to out-divide Donald Trump, out-ugly Donald Trump, you're too beautiful and-- too good. [applause] Don't you agree? She is too beautiful, and too it's not going to happen. So listen. I believe if we stick up for what we believe in, I am in red counties every month. I'm talking to Trump voters every month. A lot of them feel the same way that you do in being disappointed in how he is acting. They don't know that you like them. They don't know that liberals love them. They don't feel that they can come over here. They feel like basically us saying, you are an ignorant bigot and you suck now vote for me, turns out is not very persuasive.
Whoopi agreed that is was “hard sometimes to turn the other cheek” admitting that “periodically people are going to snap.” She added with a smirk, “I don’t know why,” perhaps referencing her recent outburst on the show against guest Judge Jeanine Pirro.
Hostin didn’t like Jones’ equivocating. She pleaded: “Aren’t you complicit?” But Meghan McCain got in a question first and asked about Trump’s high approval rating among Republicans being similar to Obama’s popularity. Jones acknowledged that liberals would be proudly touting the President’s achievements if he were a Democrat and needed to be better at admitting when Trump did something right. But he added that the left wants “unity” as well as jobs, (as if the divided country was Trump’s fault.)
Finally Hostin got her question in.
“But Van, aren't people complicit when they are looking the other way at the bigotry, at the misogyny, at the messages coming out of this White House? Perhaps maybe they got a little tax refund so that tells me because you got a tax refund, you don't care about what's happening to my community, my children, to the country. That makes you complicit in my mind!” she ranted.
Jones nodded and agreed with Hostin, before basically repeating what he said before.
Towards the end of the interview, host Sara Haines encouraged Jones to engage in peddling conspiracy theories from the left about Trump and Russia. He happily obliged, saying that “something’s going on”:
HAINES: We are back, and we have held onto Van Jones because I think you speak such truth. Let's talk a little bit about the one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin. We don't really know what went on, and we haven't heard consistent messaging. A lot of us think that Putin must have something on Trump. What do you think?
JONES: Listen. I -- if you had a "House of cards" screenwriter on crack, they could not come up with a crazier scenario than this. Before you even get to what they talk about, why did they have a summit at all? In the first place. Ever, like, there is no there is no reason, no agenda for -- it's like you had a plot. You have got to get these two people in a room together talking, and if I were the screenwriter, I would say well, you can't have a summit because it's a big buildup and you have to have an agenda. There is no agenda. There’s no reason for them to meet. But they are hiding in the closet talking. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist at that point to say, something is going, there is something going on. [ Applause ] It doesn't make any sense. I have been a politician my whole life. Even having a summit that has no agenda has never happened. Something's going on.