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

Obama did not order Van Jones' resignation, adviser says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. T'SAH from Virginia

    I'm sorry to see you go – you're such a good-looking man!! LOL

    September 6, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. luke

    There are some real criminals out there.

    BOISE, Idaho — A federal appeals court delivered a stinging rebuke Friday to the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 detention policies, ruling that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses after 9/11.

    A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the government's improper use of material witnesses after Sept. 11 was "repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history."

    All three judges on the panel have reputations as politically conservative jurists, with two appointed by former President George W. Bush and the third a Reagan appointee.

    September 6, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. Bob

    Why anyone would give Van Jones a pass on his racist comments about whites stearing pollution to black communities, and his racists comments about the US leading the unethical charge against the Palastinians is beyond me. But unfortuneately, not beyond most democrats.

    Holder is right, we need an honest discussion on race.

    September 6, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. ben

    Let's have truth about 9/11!

    Jones had his views and spoke like an American as a private citizen!!

    September 6, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. george

    eople who want the truth are more intelligent than people who accept NY Times headlines. Such as,

    "We must invade Iraq to keep America safe."

    Support your local honesty advocate. Why advocate for dishonesty Kleiman? You got ulterior Nation's?

    September 6, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Dan, WA

    I want American people to watch this episode. Barack Obama is keeping silent although he is the one who chose him to be his Czar. Tomorrow we will have Rev. Wright in the white house/administration. This president is simply a liar and a radical communist. He has his hidden agenda which is een ever sinc ehe became our President.

    September 6, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. carol

    Well dems keep bending over for the right.. ...just forget about the grease..

    September 6, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. leticia

    Dearest Peggy – you castigated me for not worshiping Obama and you didn't tell my what lies Faux has told. We are waiting for you to tell us. Come on dear, set us straight with facts.

    September 6, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Eric from MI

    his stepping down makes no difference other than the fact that his ties to the POTUS are now out of the public eye. If you think for a second that behind the curtain this man isn't still advising president Obama you would be mistaken. I mean come on people this is just common sense. His views were far too extreme for him to be holding public office but just because he no longer holds a sudo public office doesn't mean his views or influence on other extreme liberal party members will be any different. Stop arguing with on another on forums and messeage boards and do something about it if your soo upset over extremists holding any sort of power in our government

    September 6, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Bob

    Who is Van Jones? I've been reading the NY Times for my news all summer and have never heard of him. The artical says there has been a controversy for weeks.

    Times, what was the score of the Whitesox game from 2 weeks ago?

    September 6, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. a REAL American

    Nice of you to join in CNN....this story has been around for about a week, and you barely mentioned it two days ago. Plus, there's a lot more to this radical than the fact that he's a 9/11 truther. He's also a self-proclaimed radical and Communist and blames "white polluters" for problems that exist in black communities. These are not lies and distortions, these are FACTS and statements made by Mr. Jones. He also spent time in jail for participating in Rodney King riots, after which he claims being excited about the radical ideas he picked up from other inmates. Real smart! I once spent a night in jail back in my college days, and the last thing I wanted was to take advice from a bunch of criminals!

    It's high time the American people begin to investigate all of Obama's czars!

    September 6, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. champly

    I am so confused. Is George Bush still president ? We have a Marxist/Racist president set on destroying the country and you Obamists keep implying Bush is still president. I don't understand.

    September 6, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Bayousara

    Once again President Obama caves in.

    Whenever the Republicans squawk, like with the president's plan to speak to the schools/lesson plans, the president caves in to the pressure.

    I supported Obama, but I would like to see him establish a backbone to deal with this childish behavior on the part of the right.

    I would think an investigation of lots of entities, including the administration, would have been appropriate during 9/11. And maybe a "kee-kee" word about someone has its place.

    Nothing to fire someone over. Or ask them to resign.

    September 6, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. william

    What research needs to be done?! Beck has uncovered absolutely nothing here. And he doesn't even provide ANY context-why are all these journalist in Fox so Super Scary...?

    September 6, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. chris

    The best part of Fox news "conspiracy uncoverings" is that they NEVER explain what a group does- just what "crazy left wing commie" is behind it.

    Be scared of the Apollo Group, we're not gonna tell you what they do, or where they do their work ( mostly in big cities that are already taken over by the "radicals") but be afraid, be very afraid

    September 6, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. truthhurtsdontit

    Truth we can handle my friend. Debate is great and welcomed. Nutbags spewing vitriol does not count as either. Oh and by the way, Mr. Obama is out to change the country, and that has never been a mystery. It is in fact why he was elected.

    September 6, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. Tony

    If Beck were not in a suit on his own show, he would come across as a one of those crazy street persons ranting away. The kind of person you give a wide berth and not look him in the eye as you quickly pass by.

    September 6, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. Mary

    So, you like the way Bush left the country? Really? If so, you're hopeless...

    September 6, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. k

    If we all did the homework...we would come up with the same conclusion...but there are too many people out there right now afraid of the truth...and won't check on these things...just ready to slam them

    September 6, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. champly

    william – Beck has uncovered nothing ? Then why did Van Jones resign ? Pressure from the big bad wolves as Fox ? Poor Obama, treated so shabbily by the radical racist right wingers. Maybe we should make Obama president for life, like his buddies Castro and Chavez, so he can straighten this country out once and and for all : )

    September 6, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Jon

    Van Jones is only the tip of it! Reading some of the other posts, I have no beefs with presidents having CZARS but remember they are appointed by the president and not voted in.

    I just find it hard to believe that Obama has had a life of friends and acquaintance’s that he claims to never of known their beliefs and backgrounds. During the election you had Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers and others. But you could defend Obama and say well he didn't know! ( I find that hard to believe) And Obama has said it before look at the people I surround myself with! Well Mr. Obama yeah let's take a hard look at the people you do surround yourself with.

    Either Obama and the admin. didn't check Van Jone's background or they didn't care! It is that easy! More and more democrats I know are wishing Hiliary had won it. At least you know where she stands whether you agree or disagree. Obama's lack of experience shows more and more with each passing day.

    September 6, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. supremeIdiot!

    Glen Who? Doesn't he stand on a crate and rant uncontrollably on a streetcorner in downtown Dallas?

    September 6, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Ruty

    For the first time in my life, 78 years, I am ashamed of my country. People are acting like spoiled brat, five year olds. What has happpened to this great nation? You can't blame it on Obama–he has been in office only 7and a half months. How can anyone in their right mine say it is not because of George Bush. That man has made this country a laughing stock of the world. He should have the same thing done to him he had done to Hussain.

    September 6, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. democrat_for_life

    great! this guy was giving the administration a black eye.

    Oh and kudos to CNN for FINALLY covering this story – the controversy behind this guy is only about two weeks old

    September 6, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. Tim

    Can this guy Glen Beck look AT HIMSELF in the mirror? This guy is a real anger management test for people with dignity . My blood pressure just went up. No wonder people from around the world despised us the way they do, no wonder Bill Maher said we are a stupid country. When you have a Glen Beck who earns 30 Mil a year when thousand of engineers, skill-people are getting fired everyday. The industrial complex keeps feeding and protecting those people while their servants in the media, especially CNN, pretend it doesn't happen and are paid to talk about beer summit and Michael Jackson. Now, we have Michele Malkin who's going mainstream when obviously her ignorance is as overwhelming as Palin's.

    September 6, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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