CNN commentator Van Jones on Friday, Oct. 23, surprised his co-workers by giving credit to President Donald Trump for what he has done for the black community.

During a panel discussion, CNN host Jack Tapper criticized President Trump for remarks he made during the final presidential debate, when he said he’s “done more” for the black community than any president with the “possible exception of  Abraham Lincoln” and that he saw himself as the “least racist” person in the room.

To the surprise of Tapper and others on the set, Jones jumped to the president’s defense.

“I think it’s really unfortunate because Donald Trump, and I get beat up by liberals every time I say it but I keep saying it, he has done good stuff for the Black community,” Jones said.

“Opportunity Zone stuff, Black college stuff, I worked with him on criminal stuff, I saw Donald Trump have African American people, formally incarcerated, in the White House, embraced them, treated them well. There is a side to Donald Trump that I think he does not get enough credit for,” he added.

Jones, a former Obama administration official, has praised President Trump for his role in pushing the criminal justice reform bill, to which he is a prominent advocate, reported The Hill.

“To his credit—and I don’t do this often, nobody’s tougher on Donald Trump when he’s wrong—Trump moved from talking about law and order and ‘lock ’em up’ to saying, listen, everybody deserves a second chance. Let’s take some proven programs … and do it at the federal level,” Jones said after the Senate passed the bill in December 2018.

“He became, to the shock of everybody, the biggest, loudest champion on criminal justice,” he said. “I got 99 conflicts with the Trump administration, prisons are not one.”

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll taken from Oct. 19 to Oct. 23, showed a surge in African Americans approval of President Trump’s performance, especially after his final debate on Thursday, Oct. 22.

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