CNN political commentator Van Jones says he’s suffering from an “emotional whiplash” after President Obama’s farewell address and President-elect Donald Trump’s first news conference.
“My head is completely still spinning,” Jones said. “But to be honest, I’m actually skeptical of both of these guys for actually very similar reasons.”
Jones, who returned as host of “The Messy Truth” series, asked Americans how the country can come together after a divisive and contentious election cycle. In the CNN special, Jones reflected on “the messy truth” of Obama’s legacy and a Trump presidency.
Jones began with President Obama’s final speech, which he called an “amazing celebration of American democracy.” But he argued the state of the nation is not so uplifting; the country remains divided.
Jones asked if Trump can succeed where Obama failed.
He said Trump wants to be the president for everyone, but cites the nomination of Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions for US attorney general as a stumbling block to unifying the nation.
Sessions is “literally terrifying the entire civil rights community,” Jones said.
Jones added that Americans may need to accept an even bigger, “messier truth.” “Donald J. Trump cannot heal our deepest wounds and Barack Obama could not heal our deepest wounds. George W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Wilson Reagan — none of our presidents has been able to heal these wounds and bring us together. So maybe, just maybe, the politicians can’t solve these problems, maybe we’re looking to the wrong people to bridge all these divides and to heal everything. Maybe it’s going to be up to ‘we the people’ to step up ourselves and start fixing this ourselves and start reaching out to each other.”