September 6th, 2009
05:49 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama did not order Van Jones' resignation, adviser says

Van Jones speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August.

Van Jones speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The resignation of Obama administration figure Van Jones, following controversies over a petition he had signed and his comments about Republicans, did not come at the request of the president, the White House senior adviser said Sunday.

"Absolutely not - this was Van Jones' own decision," David Axelrod told NBC's "Meet the Press" when asked if the president had ordered the resignation.

The chairman of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, had called for Jones to resign or be fired.

"I think Van Jones did the right thing," Pence said Sunday about the resignation. "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration."

Jones has frequently been dubbed a "green-jobs czar" for the administration.

"The president should suspend any future appointment of so called czars while the administration and the Congress carefully examines the background and qualifications of the more than 30 individuals who've been appointed to these czar positions," said Pence, speaking to reporters. "And the Congress ought to initiate a thorough inquiry into the constitutionality of this practice which has spanned Republican and Democrat administrations."

In a statement Saturday night, the White House said Jones was giving up his post at the Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped coordinate government agencies focused on delivering millions of green jobs to the ailing U.S. economy.

"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in the statement. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."

Updated:5:49 p.m.

Full story

Filed under: Obama administration • Popular Posts • Van Jones
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. JB - NYC

    Van Jones own words...
    Jones said he was "a rowdy nationalist" before the King verdict was announced. By August of that year, he said, "I was a communist."

    Oh yea the right wing is 'trying' to smear him..

    Man up, these are your words. This is who you are, and this proves who Obama is.

    Happy Labor Day

    September 6, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Henry

    Another example of:
    1) Radical extremists tied to Obama (Wright, Ayers, Chavez, etc.)
    2) Alinsky-esque comments demonizing his opponents
    3) A poor job of reporting (liberal bias perhaps), only citing the petition and not other controversies around him (calling himself a communist, Republicans an expletive, etc.)
    4) Probable liberal bias with giving this wingnut the last word – the substance of his controversy is much more relevant than his self-serving quotes

    I meant to focus on Jones as I went to write this, but CNN's shoddy and/or biased reporting simply became worth two of four points.

    Let's hope the Obama administration won't replace this moron, save the taxpayers the salary and that of his office of 'green jobs' (Orwellian enough of a title to make "Homeland Security" sound heart-warming) and let Americans find their own solutions without such bureaucratic nightmares. They can't fix our roads with a $787B stimulus (credit-taking road signage aside); how do you figure the government will create truly wealth-creating sustainable jobs without spending tens of thousands per each job for which they will take credit?

    September 6, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. Bill in Albuquerque

    Obama and the dems are cowards.

    September 6, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. Tom

    If he really did sign an on-line petition regarding 9/11 without carefully reading the wording, he's not fit for public office. But does this admiminstration ever make a mistake or are they all just "misunderstandings' and attacks from conservatives?

    September 6, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. champly

    CNN blew yet another chance to show it is "not biased". Van Jones has a long sordid history and CNN has not discussed it in any meaningful way.

    September 6, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. Mic

    It seems funny that we didn't know that this man doesn't think like the rest of us. His ideals are based on soicalism not freedom. His ideals are based on the group is better then the individual. We the people take pride in our country what was givin to us in the past. The CZARS that our part of obama's goverment are radicals as proven by VAN JONES. I just wish I know why the rest of the country does't jump all over these radical CZARS. It makes me sad that so many people of turned their back on the United States Past.

    (I'm also in a bi racial marriage so none of these comments our racist)

    September 6, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. smiff

    You folks in opposition to this.....well......extremist stepping aside, should ask yourselves if you'd want him having heart to hearts with your children at school. Yeeees, rants and all about race and social justice. Everyone can change is right. An about face to secure a govment post is just Cheecago style change we can believe in. YEAH YOU PEEPS DID!!! Obama is just a better pied piper than his underlings. You see. I tell you so, yes, yes!! Alynski would be proud of you lefties. You post strait out of ru-les for ra-di-ca-ls. YES YOU DID!!!!

    September 6, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. D. Tree

    The GOP has been holding up the appointment of important positions in the Administration based on ideological grounds, but meanwhile they complain about not creating enough jobs.

    I doubt half the people commenting even know what "marxism" "leninsm" and "socialsm" even mean.

    September 6, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Truth

    Matthew09 wrote: "Still far better than saying he 'wishes the president fails.'"

    Still don't get it, do you? Rush hoped Obama would fail in his policies designed to destroy America. There, now that's not so hard to understand, is it?

    . . . . . . . . . .

    "Sensible" (???) wrote: - Oh, never mind, it wasn't sensible at all.

    . . . . . . . . .

    And "Lindie" -- Not worth tearing apart your comment...too easy.

    September 6, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. OhioGirl82

    CNN - want to redeem yourselves for ignoring this story so long? Why not do an expose on this concept of "czars"? Bush was guilty, too, so you can make it somewhat non-partisan. But what was annoying under Bush has gained tremendous steam under this administration, and I fear what the future holds under any administration.

    "Czars" are an end-around for any sort of congressional approval. It is a huge power grab by the executive branch of our government. The many dozens of czars have been given tremendous power for setting rules and regulations, aka, what used to be laws passed by congress, or rules and regulations via cabinets.

    Van Jones is not the only czar who is a divisive character (in either administration.) Should these characters be given such power with requiring any government oversight beyond the approval of the POTUS?

    September 6, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Wade

    CAT September 6th, 2009 9:36 am ET

    You republican racists really are idiots aren't you
    I failed to see any mention of race in any of the accusations against him.
    The only people who try and make it a racial issue are the libs.

    For the last time... nobody cares about the color of his skin, only his actions.

    September 6, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Tom Milbank

    If we learn anything from this is should be that we need better security and background checks on people given so much power. Did Obama and his chief of staff not know this man was a registered member of the communist party? Where was the secret service? How could they let a communist get access? These Czars should have to reviewed like others in the government to protect America from this ever happening again. Thank you.

    September 6, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. BK

    I guess Van Jones saying "White people are polluting black neighborhoods" is something he has changed his mind on too. The rest of the czars should be looked at also. I bet they will find more radical dangerous people that Obama has chosen. Its called the hidden agenda and the american people are waking up. Finally! Obama needs to go, now. We do not trust Obama.

    September 6, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Angela

    CNN is a joke when it comes to writing an actual "news" artical. They should just call themselves TMZ2, actually I think TMZ puts more accurate facts not opinions in their articals! This site is a joke, granted I don't read CNN often, once in awhile I will pull it up to just to see if they have learned to be a news organization yet and as suspected they are still an unrealiable tabloid void of facts. There is MUCH more to Jones than the 9/11 truth commission all you have to do is Google his name and you get more info than CNN could provide. Anybody in support of Jones should google his name and get your facts straight before claiming he belongs in a position to be paid with MY TAXES!

    September 6, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Career serviceman

    Why is it that whenever there is a report on infractions, misconduct, or the usual hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes his advisers or appointees are not paying are made known, that the race card is brought out?

    Van Jones was the obvious racist! I have no problem when white people or others are held accountable for their unacceptable racist remarks. So why can't Mr Van Jones be held accountable? Is it because the usual liberal double standards in ethics extends to racism being used for people of a certain color?

    There have been many blogs stating that "no one is above the law", or how everyone should be held accountable. I agree, and it should apply to ALL, not just all Republicans. This racist and conspiracy theorist got caught, plain and simple. The color of his skin is irrevelant.

    In our military, we hold our servicemembers accountable and never whine about racism just to escape those consequences. The sad part is that some liberal news anchors at CNN, and MSNBC will just ignore this and continue to apply "situational ethics" to their reporting.

    This would have been another distraction for our President. And I think that this resignation will actually show that perhaps some accountability is going to take place after all. We'll see.

    September 6, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. Keith in Austin

    I find it absolutely remarkable that there are actually left wing idiots on this blog attacking the GOP regarding the Van Jones resignation! This guy is a complete embarrasment to our Country,your Party and Obama. My God people, how can your disgusting hate cause you to be so blind? You and those like you are truly un-American and dangerous!

    September 6, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. ralph

    Is there nothing republican fans would not do to gain a sense of control? I've listened to Mr. Jones' views and have paid close attention to what he says he believes in and supports. By all accounts, he seems to be as committed and his intentions as real as any other to doing the right things for the people of the country and those abroad alike. Where were the "LOONIES" when the call to bring this country to war and sink the economy. Didn't want to go here, but REPUBLICAN supporters are too fickle and entranced in division for their own good. You guys are as thouhgful, excuse me, less thoughtful than my 3 year old daughter. Give the nonsense a break and look to your inner core, if you have one, and let's move forward with the best people – Van Jones, and the best ideas to creating a world that operates as best as possible and with as little of the nonseseas possible.

    September 6, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Palin 2012 - 2014 1/2

    I also would like to learn the truth about Sept. 11th......what's wrong with signing a petition, anyway??
    Maybe they didn't want him to speak to their children, either??

    September 6, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. makesUwonder

    These are the types of people Obama surrounds himself with. You're known for the company you keep. Nuff said.

    September 6, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. ib

    GI Joe: you said the people were foolish for following Cheney all these years. At least he didn't have a person as a czar who said he was communist. If we are foolish what does that make you when you defend a person like this?? Blind maybe??????

    September 6, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. ralph

    Hey Keith in Austin, haven't played that un-American card just a little too often. I bet you were one of the murderers that sent our country oversees to kill innocent men, WOMEN, and CHILDREN. That's so AMERICAN of you. Thank you so much for creating hundreds of thousands of orphans (that figure is no exaggeration!). I bet you are so very proud to call your views the very best that America has to offer!!! DESPICABLE!!!!!!!!

    September 6, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. champly

    D. Tree – maybe you can educate us as to what Marixm, Leninism, Castroism and Chavezism IS ? You have to include the blood baths that all have inflicted on people not just the Obama sanitized version. And then tell us how these sadistic systems differ from what Van Jones and Obama are promoting.

    September 6, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. MediaEncouragedControversy

    Where is the report on the pro-health care rally (3000 strong) in Seattle yesterday? Stop the bias and entertainment news. Here we go did not do your job before the start up of the Iraqi war.

    September 6, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Rayman

    Wade September 6th, 2009 10:05 am ET

    CAT September 6th, 2009 9:36 am ET

    You republican racists really are idiots aren't you
    I failed to see any mention of race in any of the accusations against him.
    The only people who try and make it a racial issue are the libs.

    For the last time… nobody cares about the color of his skin, only his actions.
    _____________________________________________________ say that "NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN" is like saying that racism doesn't exist. If you believe that then then you are part of the problem of the divide this country has. Living in denial!!

    September 6, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. champly

    Just the headline shows us how CNN views this entire issue. Why don't you move your headquarters to Havana or Caracas.

    September 6, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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