CNN host Van Jones suggested on Sunday that President Donald Trump would be better off if he acted more like rapper Jay-Z.
“So if you wanted to listen to what Jay-Z says, follow Jay-Z’s model, Mr. President,” Jones said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
“He’s a strong guy. He’s a rich guy, but he’s willing to be confessional. He’s willing to grow in public. If you do the same thing, America would be a lot better off.”
Jones’ remarks came the day after an interview he conducted with Shawn Carter (a.k.a. Jay-Z) on his program “The Van Jones Show,” during which the rapper discussed — among other issues — his past unfaithfulness to wife Beyonce Knowles Carter, as well as Trump’s relationship with African-Americans and the NFL’s national anthem protests.
“Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter came on our air last night and he did the opposite of Trump,” Jones said. “He came on, he was confessional. He was vulnerable. He talked about mistakes he made in his marriage.”
Carter described President Donald Trump’s alleged “s—hole” countries comment as “hurtful.”
“Everyone feels anger, but after the anger it’s really hurtful because he’s looking down on a whole population of people and he’s so misinformed because these places have beautiful people,” Carter said.
Following the interview, Trump tweeted about the record low African-American unemployment under his administration.
Carter dismissed that achievement when asked specifically about it by Jones.
“To give him a little bit of credit too, he is somebody who is now saying, look, I’m growing — I’m dropping black unemployment,” the CNN host said. “Black people are doing well under my administration.”
“Does he have a point that maybe the Democrats have been giving us good lip service, but no jobs. He may say terrible things, but putting money in our pockets. Does that make him a good leader?” Jones, a former Obama administration official, asked.
Carter, whose estimated worth is over $800 million, indicated that it does not.
“No because it’s not about money at the end of the day,” Carter answered. “Money is not — money doesn’t equate to happiness. It doesn’t. That’s missing the whole point. You treat people like human beings, then — that’s the main point.”
“It goes back to the whole thing, you going to treat me really bad and pay me well. It’s not going to lead to happiness. It’s going to lead to, again, the same thing,” the 48-year-old hip hop artist added.
During the interview, Jones and Carter also spoke admiringly about former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked controversy when he refused to kneel for the national anthem.
“Here is a guy. I think he’s now an American hero,” said Jones. “Sticking up for civil rights. Sticking up for police reforms. Sticking up for the First Amendment. He’s a legend. He’s going to go down with the Muhammad Alis, whatever. But he lost his job.”
Carter responded, “100 percent do it. Look how many people play football. They’re not all going to be him. You just put him next to Muhammad Ali.”
The rapper further stated, “Would you rather be playing football, getting your head dinged in, or would you rather be an iconic figure for the rest of your life?”
Many responded to Carter’s interview, pointing out that the singer is standing on shakey ground when he criticizes Trump for not treating people with the respect they deserve.
Trump-supporting social media stars Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson noted that Carter has made millions of dollars rapping about women in the most derogatory terms.
“Crybaby Van Jones said that the President could learn a lot from Jay- Z,” the duo tweeted. “Well, Van; The only thing we’ve learned is that Jay-Z drug dealing lifestyle landed him in the game of hip-hop mostly rapping about how women are bitc#@S and ho#$. How does this help Americans?”
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