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CNN’s Van Jones Praises Trump for Criminal Justice Reform Passing Senate: He ‘Has to Get the Credit’

CNN’s Van Jones commended Donald Trump on a “Christmas miracle” after the First Step Act was overwhelmingly passed in the Senate Tuesday night, meaning it is due to appear on the president’s desk after previously making its way through the House.

“A Christmas miracle just happened tonight… 87 senators, both political parties came together to do something to try to begin to reduce the number of people behind bars for too long, and what this bill does is unbelievable,” Jones told CNN host Don Lemon tonight. “It means that 100 percent of the people who are behind bars in the federal system can stay out of trouble and come home a little bit sooner. Half of them can work hard and earn their way home sooner.”

He also explained the bill means “100 percent of the women behind bars can no longer be shackled when they’re giving birth and mistreated,” “100 percent of juveniles can no longer be put in solitary confinement,” and sentences for the thousands of people incarcerated for crack cocaine will be shortened, as the drug has been regulated by harsher standards than regular cocaine.

“The New York Times calls this the biggest breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation, and it was brought about by ordinary people who came together and fought. And I just want to say, formerly incarcerated people, directly impacted people, like Topeka Sam, Jessica Jackson, Lewis Reed, and frankly Jared Kushner, whose father went to prison, refused to die on this, and we have a Christmas miracle,” Jones added.

As for those criticizing the bill for its perceived shortcomings, Jones said, “This is like the 1959 civil rights act. People think about, no, New York ’64, ’65. First you had 1954 which broke the logjam.”

“It’s not called the last step. It’s called the first step,” he said. “We will get to all these other issues, but you had to make it safe.”

The progressive pundit then embarked on a lengthy monologue praising the president for his work on the bill:

“I have to be honest. Donald Trump shocked me and a bunch of people by doing the right thing on this. People thought because from my point of view he’s been wrong on 99 issues, he could never be right on one. On this issue, every time people made a prediction that Donald Trump was going to sell us out, turn on us, wasn’t going to use political capital, he came harder… Donald Trump has got to get the credit. He stood up.”

He also gave credit to “Republicans who know better, like Rick Perry, like Mike Lee, like Rand Paul,” while noting GOP senators who opposed the measure “got crushed like little bugs.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Caleb Ecarma is a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: caleb@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma