- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 30, 2020

Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones, a Democrat who was rebuked by his party earlier this year for supporting the policies of President Trump, erupted during an appearance Wednesday on MSNBC after anchor Craig Melvin asked whether he was being “compensated” by the Trump campaign.

The two men, who are both Black, were having a fiery exchange about how Mr. Jones is a vocal supporter of Mr. Trump’s reelection bid when Mr. Melvin asked, “Are you a paid campaign surrogate? Are you being compensated?”

“Let me be clear,” Mr. Jones responded. “You get paid to shape a liberal narrative. You get paid to attack this president.”

“It’s a simple question,” Mr. Melvin interjected.

“I don’t get a dime for this president,” Mr. Jones continued. “I don’t get a dime from the campaign. Everything I’ve done has been me and based on my principles. And see, that’s the problem. When an African American —”

“Sir, I did not raise your race!” Mr. Melvin shouted.

“Let me finish now,” Mr. Jones said.

“No, no, wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Mr. Melvin shot back. “You’re not going to imply that I asked that question because you’re Black.”

The men shouted over each other as Mr. Jones argued, “You don’t ask Stacey Abrams if she’s getting paid from the left, so don’t ask me that.

“You only ask me that because I don’t fit your narrative,” the lawmaker said. “I don’t want anything from this president. It’s what I can do for my country and you need to accept that many other African Americans and others support this president because of his policies. And to insult me to say am I getting paid? That is disgraceful.”

Mr. Jones continued despite Mr. Melvin’s efforts to end the segment.

“That is horrible,” Mr. Jones said. “And that’s representative of MSNBC and their narrative to keep Blacks silent who happen to support this president. Why can’t I be like White liberals or other Whites, nobody question if they’re getting paid? So I have to get paid? Do you ask Democrats are they getting paid? ‘Are you getting paid by Joe Biden?’”

“I have,” Mr. Melvin replied before thanking Mr. Jones for coming on the show.

The exchange comes just days after MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross similarly asked Trump Diversity Coalition Executive Director Bruce LeVell, who is Black, whether the president ever “promised” him anything financially in exchange for his “blind support.”

“No, and I’ve known him since 2015,” Mr. LaVell answered. “I know what he has promised. He promised he wanted to get Black unemployment low, get it down and create jobs. He wanted to bring back and generate generational wealth.”

Both exchanges were highlighted by the Trump campaign on Twitter.

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