CNN political commentator Van Jones on Tuesday mourned the evolution of Donald Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, telling host Brooke Baldwin, “people's hearts are breaking” over the retired general’s policy positions.
Jones was talking about Kelly’s continued support of former White House aide Rob Porter, who’s been accused of abusing three women—including two of his former wives. Kelly was reportedly aware of allegations against Porter, despite issuing a statement commending the onetime Trump associate’s character. Jones marveled that Porter still did not have security clearance, despite having been in the administration for over a year.
“A year?” Jones asked. “I don't care what the underlying charges are, if you've got somebody in your White House that still does not have the credential, still, and you're there a year and the credential is visible and you've been there for a year? That's not a red flag. That is a four-alarm fire.
Baldwin asked Jones if he though “Kelly's head should roll” over Porter.
“I don't know who is going to replace him,” Jones said if Kelly, “That's part of the problem. we don't know who is willing to go into that White House and do anything. I'm going to tell you, people's hearts are breaking about John Kelly. When he went in there, I heard Republicans and Democrats [breathe a] huge sigh of relief saying, ‘We've got an adult in the room, something good is going to happen.’”
Jones then explained that Kelly’s recent statements really reflect the ethos of the Trump administration, and don’t seem to have impacted the White House in any positive way.
“He's out here saying DREAMers are too lazy to get off their asses,” Jones explained. “DREAMers were too afraid to sign up for DACA because it maybe would turn out badly. ‘Too lazy to get off their asses.’ You don't talk that way. Linking dreamers to a street gang—totally nuts, and then going to be defending [Porter].”
“No chief of staff in this country would have somebody that close to the president who the FBI can't vouch for for a year,” Jones said. “I don't get that. That's nuts!”