Speed Reads

Election Day 2016

On CNN, Van Jones calls Donald Trump's electoral success a 'white-lash'

Late on election night, with Donald Trump way outperforming expectations, CNN turned to its panel of Trump and Hillary Clinton backers. Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord said that the Republican nominee edging toward the White House, especially in Rust Belt states, was Americans wanting to take their country back from the elites. Van Jones, a Clinton supporter, had a different view.

"You have people putting their kids to bed tonight, and they're afraid of breakfast," he said, on the verge of tears. After explaining that bullying is bad, he continued: "They're afraid of, how do I explain this to my children? I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight, saying should I leave the country? I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight. This was many things — this was a rebelling against the elites, true, it was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it's true, but it was also something else." The CNN panel talked about class and region, he noted, but "we haven't talked about race. This was a white-lash. This was a white-lash against a changing country, it was a white-lash against a black president in part, and that's the part where the pain comes." Trump has a responsibility to assure those people, Jones said. "When you say that you want to take your country back, you've got a lot of people who feel that we're not represented well either." Watch. Peter Weber