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CNN’s Van Jones explains why he didn’t ‘beat up’ Jared Kushner in interview about Saudis

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After accusations of being too soft on Donald Trump’s adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner during an interview about the Saudis, CNN’s Van Jones explained to fellow host Brooke Baldwin why he didn’t press the White House aide harder.

“He doesn’t do interviews,” Jones noted during the Monday afternoon segment. “I would say most people these days are megaphone leaders — he’s a cell phone leader. He goes one-on-one with people, he doesn’t try to seek a big audience. And so, yes, he was nervous before and he was nervous during and he was nervous after, but I don’t think because he had something to hide, I just think because he doesn’t do this kind of stuff.”

The former Obama administration aide acknowledged that Kushner did not “directly” answer when he asked him if he “trusted” the Saudis to investigate themselves after being accused of assassinating journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“I thought it was important to challenge him,” Jones explained, “but I really want to make sure that he was able to explain himself, without having to defend himself on everything, because when you get somebody like that talking, sometimes just let them talk.”

He then addressed the criticism he received earlier Monday for what many observers considered a softball interview with Kushner.

“People on Twitter are saying, ‘cut him off, beat him up,'” Jones said. “I’m like, this is the first time you’re hearing him say something! You want me to stop him from saying something? I want to hear him say something!”

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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‘He clocked Beto’: Van Jones says ‘Castro came out of nowhere’ to dominate the first Democratic debate

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CNN host Van Jones asserted on Wednesday that former Transporation Secretary Julián Castro was the breakout star of the first Democratic presidential debate.

"I was super proud to be a Democrat," Jones said following the debate. "I thought they all did better than Trump."

The CNN host went on to call Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a "college professor" compared to the other candidates, who he said were more like "graduate students."

"She is able to go back and forth between policy and the human thing," Jones marveled before moving on to praise Castro.

"It was Castro that came out of nowhere!" Jones exclaimed. "Nobody was talking about Castro. He did the Texas takedown, turned around, clocked Beto [O'Rourke]. I mean, you never saw it coming."

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CNN’s Toobin shuts down Rick Santorum for spinning about the Mueller report

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) tried to argue that there was no point to Democrats calling former special counsel Robert Mueller for a public hearing — but legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin quickly shut him down.

"The Democrats think it will spark some sort of outrage for impeachment," said Santorum. "I just think, and this is why the president is frustrated, it's because they won't let go. They won't accept the fact that the American public moved on and they haven't."

"Jeff? Has the American public moved on?" asked Cooper.

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