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. Farrell in Houston

    Glen Beck is a former crack cocaine and alcohol addict and will say and do anything to uplift himself in the public eye. Beck went through rehab and rehab doesn't teach you to destroy others because he will relapse and destroy himself.

    September 6, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. Arrgy

    Fact: An FBI agent tried to tell her superiors that arab men were plotting to fly planes into buildings. She said they told her to forget about it.
    Fact: Richard Clark tried to warn Bush and all he could say is, "find a way to invade Iraq."
    Fact: Condi Rice said, "who could imagine people would fly planes into buildings?"
    Fact: Just before 9/11 bush had to change hotels in the middle east because intel revealed that his hotel was going to be hit by a PLANE!!
    Fact: They had all 14 pictures of the perps on the TV within hours.
    There can be no other conclusion than, the fascists LET 9/11 happen.

    September 6, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Pointing Fingers!!!

    @Jon September 6th, 2009 11:14 am ET 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 it hard to believe That you And Other Idiots have no Problem with Racist Pill Poppin Rush Limbaugh (leader of the Rethugs),Forky Tongue Sean Hannity,Bipolar Glen Beck and Lying Disgrace Sanford and How about KKK Byrd.....And John McCain is no better than John Edwards
    Van Jones did not lead us to an UNJUST WAR !!!!

    September 6, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Tracy

    My hope is that there is a network, newspaper or website out there that has the courage to publish the petition he signed so we can decide for ourselves how clear or blurred the document is. It would also be quite interesting to see who else signed that piece of garbage

    September 6, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Sean

    The author of this pathetic rant only causes harm to values and objectives he claims to support.

    September 6, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. Jeff

    You're even dumber than I thought, and *that's* saying something.
    Look, bonehead, Beck is an *entertainer*; he gets to make a fool of himself.
    Jones was (fortunately) a government official.
    Try *real* hard; you might see the difference. Don't worry, given your limitations, you can have all the time you need.

    September 6, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Jane

    Good. Anyone in the current administration that endorses the failed fact that 911 was created for the advancement of the past administration needs their head examined. The events of 911 are the Pearl Harbor for this generation. Unfortunately there are individuals out there that would shed doubt on this and disrepect for 3000 human beings being killed.

    September 6, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. m jeff

    Maybe now Glenn Beck ,and Sean Hannity , and Fox news can talk about something else.

    September 6, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. clark

    It's really a great strategy on the part of the Chronicle, report on the resignation after the fact rather than the reporting on the controversy as it happens. Really, it must save them a lot of expenses in the newsroom.

    September 6, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. faith

    Looks like Polls are not doing the trick...Where were these "journalists" the last 7months to be exact?

    September 6, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Bedtime for Obonzo

    So Van Jones didn't read the petition he signed? I can accept and maybe excuse that. What I find unacceptable is that Van Jones is a self-proclaimed communist, a political philosophy that has killed several hundred million people in the world in the past 90 years. There is no role in government for him. Adios, comrade.

    September 6, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Rafael VA

    My suggestion to Van Jones is take some time off and go to Illinois and spend a couple of days at the church of Obamas pastor Rev. Wright you will feel right at home... This guy is a Marxist!

    September 6, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. joe m

    sounds a little silly to sign a petition that one didn't understand completely. we've all been told as young people never to sign anything that we haven't read carefully. so for mr. jones to give this excuse just actually makes it worse, since he is suppose to be an individual intelligent enough to help us improve our environment. my question for most of these guys is why they never ever seem to read a document they sign. just sounds dumb to me.

    and i'd also like to see the proof of the lies, since what i've found being reported about mr. jones is related to what he said himself; most of it fully documented on video.

    for once i'd like to see a political figure stand up to the camera and say, 'yes, i actually said, did, or believe that". that would be real change.

    September 6, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Rob Stumpf

    He said he signed that petition without understanding what he was signing. Sure he did. To me, it's not the fact that he signed the petition that's the problem. It's the fact that he's a liar.

    September 6, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Maria Sanchez

    That's one.

    September 6, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Nick San Diego

    For On Track............ Keep in mind, when u use the word LIBERAL with such disdain, if it were'nt for Progressives women still would not be allowed to vote. Thats just ONE small example.

    September 6, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. p

    Congress used to belong to the people who elected them.Sadly I wasnt born yet.

    September 6, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Arrgy

    The wealthy fascists are ALL of our enemies. The do nothing but oppress the middle class.

    September 6, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Where are the media on issues?
    The media is suppose to be neutral and report the facts!
    Well as I can see from most articles here I will have to once again
    do my own research.
    On the Van issue, the White House dropped the ball and they know it!
    Could the media please step up and look out for the American public
    and forget politics.
    One last question how could a person with this back ground service
    with our President and no one question this?

    Purple Independent waiting for the adults in the media to step up and
    report facts how they fall!

    September 6, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. AbraGina

    I am just enjoying seeing the posts from the left and they aren't trying to "defend" this guy, they are just attacking those who disagree with them. I guess when you can't defend your position, the next best thing is to hurl attacks. Nice.....

    September 6, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. Don

    What Van Jones thought is not new. I have had similar thoughts about the role of the Bush Adm. in 911. It was all to convenient, a set up to take this nation to war. Bush wanted to pick a fight with the extremists. Having done that he felt justified in going after Sadam, while he was in the neighborhood.

    September 6, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Jim

    Notice the difference in behavior between Democrat Van Jones and Republican Mark Sanford. Nothing Van Jones did was illegal. Yet, he is big enough to step aside from the circus it created. Sanford, flagrantly breaks the law, puts national security at risk, and lies to pretty much everyone, yet still thinks he is entitled to a fat paycheck. Disgusting. But that is what Republicans stand for.

    September 6, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Don

    As for Fox News and all those associated with it – they are the source of much of the conflict raging in this country. I do not believe in censorship but I do believe it is time for the Fairness Doctrine to be brought back.

    September 6, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Freeman

    As always, I find that republicans who are calling others racist are probably the biggest racist themselves. Who are you people kidding?

    September 6, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. Karen Mitchell

    I was the kind of person that would click from news channel to news channel, frequently stopping at CNN. The past year or so I noticed that CNN was not reporting some very important issues. I would see something on another network and would look to CNN to verify...or at least to get it's position. Low and behold, I started noticing that CNN didn't cover a lot of stories. It's of my opinion that CNN covers certain news, not ALL news. Just like this Van Jones story. There is no question in my mind that this man is as radical as they come. There is no way that the current administration didn't know this. Even now, CNN is making light of this story. Where is the TRUTH in media CNN....or is there only truth when it suits your political views? I used to enjoy CNN but am finding out it's one step behind MSNBC..

    September 6, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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