President Trump delivered a speech Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress, and for Van Jones, the CNN political commentator, it was during that speech that Trump became president of the United States." Jones now is receiving criticism for "normalizing" Trump.
\u201c"He became President of the United States in that moment, period" @VanJones68 on @POTUS honoring Navy Seal widow https://t.co/uZtnj0OLgs\u201d
— Anderson Cooper 360\u00b0 (@Anderson Cooper 360\u00b0)
The moment Jones was referring to as "presidential" was when the president recognized Carryn Owens, the widow of Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, who was killed in Yemen. "Ryan's legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you," said Trump.
"If he finds a way to do that over and over again, he's going to be there for eight years," Jones said of Trump's "presidential" moment.The CNN commentator receieved praise from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said, "I find myself in agreement with Van Jones for the first time; Trump did become presidential tonight."
Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, has been critical of Jones as well as Ana Navarro, a Republican CNN commentator. During a recent meeting with a Time Warner executive, Kushner complained about CNN's coverage of Trump and about several anti-Trump commentators, such as Jones and Navarro. (Time Warner is CNN's parent company.) After last night, Kushner may feel the same way McConnell does.
Navarro also lauded Trump for his speech. "Whatever they slipped in his Coca-Cola, they need to keep giving it to him," said the commentator on CNN. "Who knew he had the attention span to stick to the teleprompter and be coherent? Who knew he could be unifying?" she added.
The out Russian journalist Masha Gessen criticized Jones for "fawning" over Trump.
\u201cTonight we saw how it lasts. He'll be president of war. Bernie Sanders applauds, Van Jones fawns. In a year criticism will be "unpatriotic"\u201d
The New Republic criticized the media for praising Trump, calling the response "shameful." The publication called the political press corps "outmatched and completely maladapted for the challenge he poses to it."