Charlottesville: Van Jones left in tears over Donald Trump's press conference remarks

'I'm just hurt. I'm sitting here hurt, and I think a lot of people are hurt tonight' 

Clarisse Loughrey
Wednesday 16 August 2017 08:28 BST

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Louise Thomas

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Political commentator Van Jones' CNN appearance seemed to reflect the mood of a country, after Donald Trump doubled down on his Charlottesville remarks, in a disastrous press conference where he blamed "both sides" for the violence.

"It's a tough night for normal people," told Anderson Cooper. "You've got a lot of people at home going through Kleenex right now. You've got a lot of people at home who are keeping their kids away from the TV tonight. Because we're spiraling away from each other."

His comments come after violence at a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville culminated in a car being purposefully driven into a crowd of counter-protesters, leaving one woman dead and 19 others injured. The suspected driver has been charged with second-degree murder.

"He's not defending the humanity of the people who were run over. The 19 people who were run over. He's not telling their story," Jones added. "He can't distinguish between Nazis with torches saying anti-Jewish, anti-Black stuff... and the people who went there to try and defend people from those thugs."

The political commentator also touched upon Trump's senseless comments equating Robert E. Lee and George Washington, stating that the removal of a monument to a Confederate general is the same as removing one to the Founding Fathers.

"He can't distinguish between the founder of our country, who was a flawed individual, but who did great things," Jones said. "And the person who led a rebellion against this country. Robert E. Lee should not be in the same sentence as George Washington."

Jones became visibly emotional when he talked about his Jewish godmother and the fact "she can't count on the President of the United States to stand with her when a Nazi ran over an American citizen. Killed an American citizen with ISIS tactics in our country."

"It's not just people you're emboldening," he added. "It's the people you're abandoning, who now don't know if they have a government that gives a damn about them. Those are the people you have to worry about, too."

He concluded, "I don't know what to say tonight. I usually have something clever, something smart. I'm just hurt. I'm sitting here hurt, and I think a lot of people are hurt tonight."

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