- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2017

CNN commentator Van Jones on Thursday dismissed an undercover video that revealed him calling the Russia controversy a “nothing burger,” saying it’s “edited, right-wing propaganda” that took his argument “out of context.”

The video showed Mr. Jones, a former Obama White House adviser, standing outside CNN’s Los Angeles bureau and talking on hidden camera to a Project Veritas investigator.

“The Russia thing is just a big nothing burger,” he said in the clip.

It was the second Project Veritas video this week targeting CNN. John Bonifield, a supervising producer for CNN’s Medical Unit, was caught on camera calling the Russia controversy “mostly bulls–.” Conservatives pounced on the videos as an example of CNN pushing an anti-Trump agenda, despite lacking evidence to link his administration to Russia.

Mr. Jones wrote a column for CNN Thursday in response, saying his actual argument was “far from” what was portrayed.

He said “there probably was” collusion between Trump associates and Russian operatives, but that the controversy has become too distracting for the Democratic Party.

“I have been consistently pushing my fellow Democrats to deal with bread and butter issues — and not just hope and believe Trump will be impeached and gone tomorrow. I have been beating this drum for weeks now,” he wrote.

“In other words, no evidence is going to emerge (‘THIS WEEK,’ soon, or maybe ever) that is powerful enough to force the craven GOP to oust Trump,” he continued.

“The notion that I think Trump is innocent of all wrongdoing in Russiagate is ludicrous. But perhaps the people on team Trump can afford to live in a fantasy world,” Mr. Jones said. “Those of us who oppose Trump do not have that luxury. So here’s my loud and clear message to anyone who will listen — the Russia investigation should be mainly left to the experts like Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The rest of us can best undercut Trump by focusing on real issues that will bring voters back to the Democratic Party — creating jobs, fighting poverty, battling addiction, defending democracy and human rights, winning health care for all.”

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