CNN contributor Van Jones exchanged heated words with Donald Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany on the air Wednesday evening, asserting there is palpable distress among minorities who oppose the president-elect.
The conversation reached a fever pitch when McEnany called on Jones to repudiate fears among protesters that Trump might create internment camps for illegal immigrants. “Donald Trump has never proposed internment camps,” she said. “You have to correct that fear.”
“You don’t get to lecture me on this stage,” Jones snapped back. “You guys won, and you need to back off. You need to have a little bit of empathy and understanding for people who are afraid, because your candidate has been one of the most explosively provocative candidates in the history of our country. And there’s a price to be paid for that.”
Moments later, he said, “If you want unity, we have to hear the pain first before you tell people they’re wrong to hurt.”
The contentious conversation came less than a day after Jones garnered attention for his powerful initial response to Trump’s victory, characterizing it as “a white-lash against a changing country.”
Trump, he said, “has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people who he insulted and offended and brushed aside. When you say you want to take your country back, you got a lot of people who feel that we’re not represented well either. But we don’t want to feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us to appeal more deeply to others. This is a deeply painful moment tonight. I know it’s not just about race — there’s more going on than that — but race is here too, and we got to talk about it.”
Watch Jones and McEnany’s exchange above.