'They Kill People. Don’t Play Games With That!': CNN's Van Jones and Jeffrey Lord Battle Over Trump's KKK Pandering
Super Tuesday was a heated night at the polls but on CNN it was explosive. Social justice activist, founder of several non-profits, author, and CNN contributor Van Jones drew a line in the sand over his fellow CNN contributor and Donald Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord's offensive claims linking the KKK to the Democratic Party, and fraudulently using terms like "leftist" and "progressive agenda" to describe it.
After Lord defended Trump by saying he disavowed the KKK before and after his disastrous ABC News interview Sunday – when he refused to do so – Jones reminded him that the "things that Donald Trump has done and not just in this race are horribly offensive."
"You can go back to the Central [Park] jogger case where he came out and had innocent black kids winding up in prison," Jones said, reminding the audience that trump viciously went after five Black and Hispanic teens and even placed full page ads in four NYC newspapers calling for the death penalty. Ultimately, the five men were convicted, only to be found innocent after spending years in jail. Trump had wanted them executed.
Jones went on to accuse Trump of "whipping up and tapping into and pushing buttons that are very, very frightening to me, and frightening to a lot of people. Number one, when he is playing funny with the Klan, that is not cool."
Here's how it went next:
LORD: He didn't play funny with the Klan.
JONES: Hold on a second. I know this man when he gets passionate about terrorism. I know how he talks about terrorism. The Klan is a terrorist organization that has killed --
LORD: A leftist terrorist organization.
JONES: You can put whatever label you want, that's your game to play.
LORD: No, it's important to history.
JONES: We're not going to play that game.
LORD:: We're going to understand history.
JONES: No, you need to take a serious look at the fact that this man has been playing fast and loose and footsie -- when you talk about terrorism, he gets passionate. He says no, this is wrong. But when you talk about the Klan, oh, I don't know, I don't know. That's wrong. And then you came on the air and you said, 'well this is just like when Reverend Wright was speaking.' Reverend Wright never lynched anybody, Reverend Wright never killed anybody.
LORD: Reverend Wright is an anti-Semite.
JONES: Reverend Wright never put anybody on a post. And you guys play these word games, and it's wrong to do in America.
JONES: Call them chipmunks! They kill people. Don’t play games with that!
LORD: You’re right! And you don’t hide and say that’s not part of the base of the Democratic Party. They were the military arm, the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party, according to historians. For God’s sake, read your history!
JONES: I don’t care how they voted 50 years ago, I care about who they killed.
Jones went on to remind Lord that the "Klan divided people by race!”
“And they did it to further the progressive agenda!” Lord responded. “Hello!”