President Donald J. Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress caused mixed reactions across the nation, leading to some unexpected comments from long-time Trump antagonist Van Jones of CNN saying the speech was “extraordinary”.
Jones, who called Trump’s election victory a “whitewashing” of America and, on election night, asked “how am I going to explain this to my children has been a vocal opponent of the President, his policies, and his Twitter rants. Yet following the President’s speech, particularly his recognition of Carryn Owens, the wife of fallen Navy SEAL Chief Ryan Owens, Jones turned the tide and said:
“That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period. And he did something extraordinary and for people who have been hoping that he would become unifying, hoping that he might find some way to become presidential, they should be happy with that moment
“For people who have been hoping that maybe he would remain a divisive cartoon, which he often finds a way to to. Theys hould begin to become a little bit worried tonight. Because that thing you just saw him do, if he finds a way to do that over and over again, he’s going to be there for eight years.”
Jones then continued: “Now, there is a lot that he said in that speech that was counterfactual, that was not right, and that I oppose and will oppose. But he did something tonight thtat you cannot take away from him… he became President of the United States.”
In a further demonstration of the old saying that “politics make strange bedfellows”, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went on CNN and said he agreed with Jones assessment of the speech and the change in President Trump’s stature following the address.
“I find myself in agreement with Van Jones for the first time in my political life. I think for people who are not Republicans and already committed to the President and his agenda, Donald Trump did indeed become Presidential tonight. I think we’ll see that reflected in a higher approval rating.”
Sen. McConnell: I find myself in agreement with Van Jones for the first time; Trump did become presidential tonight https://t.co/sFBeNMsBUR
— CNN (@CNN) March 1, 2017