CNN’s Van Jones Slams Kamala Harris for ‘Running Away,’ Not Being ‘Smart Enough’ to Attend Forum that Honored Trump


CNN commentator Van Jones attacked California Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris over her decision to skip a criminal justice forum at an HBCU in protest of President Donald Trump’s “racism,” accusing her of “running away” and not being “smart enough” to use the forum to get the “last word.”

On Friday night, Senator Harris announced she was pulling out of the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College — a historically black college (HBCU) — citing Trump’s history of “racist behavior” and the exclusion of all but seven students from an event at which Trump was honored.

Fellow candidate and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey wrote that he would be attending, but without criticizing Senator Harris.

“I saw what happened today. And I, for one, will be there tomorrow. I have some things I think they need to hear from me—directly,” Booker wrote.

But Jones wasn’t content to simply support Booker’s decision, and attacked Harris’ decision in a tweet that read “I will be there, too, @CoryBooker … Running away from a conversation has never solved anything. Some people will abandon a microphone because they don’t like the person who touched it last. Others are smart enough to grab that microphone and make sure THEY get the last word.”

Jones’ attack drew copious criticism on the platform, exemplified by NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill’s relatively charitable critique of Jones.

“What a take. I’m not caping for any candidate, but refusing to lend one’s name & presence to further legitimize events where a despicable person is being honored doesn’t mean one is ‘running’ or not ‘smart.’ There is principle to support both Kamala and Cory’s decisions,” Ifill wrote.

Senator Harris has instead arranged a criminal justice roundtable of her own, which will take place at a Benedict College chapel Saturday afternoon.

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