WASHINGTON – It wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.
When White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the president’s support for his embattled “green jobs czar,” Van Jones, the response was: “He continues to work for the administration.”
If there were any doubts the first high appointment of the Obama administration was about to be reversed by scandal, Gibbs’ message put them to rest.
If he goes, Jones’ brief tenure as one of about 40 czars in the White House will have been cut short by reporting in WND – begun in April by staffer Aaron Klein.
WND’s Klein first reported Jones was an admitted radical communist and a self-described “rowdy black nationalist” and that in 2005 he boasted in an interview that his environmental activism was actually a means to fight for racial and class “justice.”
Succeeding revelations by WND included:
- Jones previously served on the board of an environmental activist group at which a founder of the Weather Underground terrorist organization is a top director.
- Jones was co-founder of a black activist organization that has led a campaign prompting major advertisers to withdraw from Glenn Beck’s top-rated Fox News Channel program. The revelation followed Beck’s reports on WND’s story about Jones’ communist background.
- That Jones and other White House appointees may have been screened by an ACORN associate.
- One day after the 9/11 attacks, Jones led a vigil that expressed solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans as well as what he called the victims of “U.S. imperialism” around the world.
- Just days before his White House appointment, Jones used a forum at a major youth convention to push for a radical agenda that included spreading the wealth and “changing the whole system.”
- Jones’ Maoist manifesto while leading the group Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM, was scrubbed from the Internet after being revealed by WND.
- Jones was the main speaker at an anti-war rally that urged “resistance” against the U.S. government – a demonstration sponsored by an organization associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party.
- In a 2005 conference, Jones characterized the U.S. as an “apartheid regime” that civil rights workers helped turn into a “struggling, fledgling democracy.”
- Jones signed a petition calling for nationwide “resistance” against police, accusing them of using the 9/11 attacks to carry out policies of torture.
While talk radio and cable television have picked up WND’s reporting and brought Jones to the brink of resignation or firing, until today there has been no major coverage of the scandal by the major U.S. news media.
But today, Rep. Mike Pence, R-IN, chairman of the House Republican Conference, called on Jones to quit or be fired.
“His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate,” Pence said.
Jones has tried to deflect the rising chorus of criticism: “In recent days some in the news media have reported on past statements I made before I joined the administration – some of which were made years ago. If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologize.”
It was his second apology of the week. On Wednesday, Jones apologized for labeling Republicans with a vulgarism in a February speech, saying that his comments were “clearly inappropriate.”