- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Liberal CNN commentator Van Jones says he has no regrets over his praise for President Trump’s first address to Congress, which landed him in hot water with the left.

Mr. Jones, a former President Obama adviser who now hosts “The Messy Truth” on CNN, sparked liberals’ ire last week after he said Mr. Trump’s honoring of a slain Navy SEAL during his Feb. 28 speech was “one of the most extraordinary moments” in American politics.

More than a week later and Mr. Jones still stands by his words, telling The Daily Beast that he was just being honest about how he felt “in the moment.”

“No, I don’t regret it, because it was honestly how I felt in that moment. My dad’s in the military and that moment where everybody in Congress stood up and applauded that widow, that really moved me,” he said. “And it moved a lot of people. I said, if he keeps doing stuff like this, he’s going to be there for eight years.

“Now, the reality is, he went from the best he’s ever done to the worst he’s ever done,” he continued. “I don’t know how you do worse, but he’s doing worse! So, any of us who saw the potential for a pivot, good or bad, have been proven wrong, for better or for worse. But you’ve gotta call ‘em like you see ‘em. You’ve got to be emotionally honest, even if later on it turns out that he’s going to do something in a different direction. You’ve got to be emotionally honest or there’s no point in being on TV. And you’ve got to take your lumps.”

Mr. Jones theorized that his fellow liberals came down so hard on him because they’re “terrified” of Mr. Trump, and that praise of the Republican president, however true, makes them uncomfortable.

“Listen, millions of people see Donald Trump as the scariest villain they could ever imagine,” he said. “They don’t want to hear Luke Skywalker talk about, ‘Well, he made a good point in his speech, though!’ That’s not welcome for a lot of people. But, my show isn’t called the ‘Screw Donald Trump Show.’ It’s called ‘The Messy Truth.’”

Mr. Jones said some of Mr. Trump’s “worst” behavior came after his widely lauded address to Congress when he accused Mr. Obama of wiretapping his phones prior to the election.

“Like I said, he went from the best he’s ever done to the worst he’s ever done in mere days,” Mr. Jones said. “Those of us who were either hopeful, or in my case fearful that we might be seeing a serious pivot to a very different kind of presidency, it turned out we didn’t have much to worry about.

“It’s weird because you shouldn’t be relieved when the president does crazy things,” he added. “You should be more scared when the president does crazy things. But the world is so crazy that I almost breathed a sigh of relief when he went back to the crazy. I feel bad that I was relieved that he started acting crazy again. That’s a terrible statement to make about myself in some ways, but also I was concerned that he was going to start self-normalizing. And then what was the left going to do? Luckily he seems incapable of self-normalizing, so we can worry about other things.”

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