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The Van Jones Show

One-on-one Interviews with Meghan McCain and Malcom Jenkins; Revisiting Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 10, 2018 - 19:00   ET



[19:00:00] VAN JONES, CNN HOST: I'm Van Jones. This is the VAN JONES SHOW. I want to thank you for being here.

Now look, on our show we are trying to find a way to bring back some decency and civility and sanity to a country that honestly seems to be losing all three. And that's why I am so glad we have here tonight the living embodiment of all three qualities. Meghan McCain is in the house tonight.


JONES: We have Meghan McCain, you know. It's amazing to have her. No, she is obviously - she is a daughter of a famous senator. But today she is actually a star in her own right. She is fighting every day for the best in the Republican party. We are going to get her insights which we desperately need.

Later, we are also going to talk with NFL star Malcolm Jenkins from the Philadelphia Eagles fresh from victory in the super bowl. Sorry, not sorry from you, Patriot fans, but we got Malcolm here. He is going to explain why he refuse to visit the Trump White House and what he is doing instead to truly make America great.

Now look, guys. It's been a crazy week. I understand that governing can be hard sometimes. Lots of things are hard sometimes. I have two boys in grade schools. Homework can be hard sometimes. So, you know, when my older son struggles with Mandarin, I don't worry about it because Mandarin is a tough subject. But it have 13, my son couldn't get his ABCs right, I would be worried.

And that is why I'm so concerned about our government. We are messing up prekindergarten stuff. Approving a budget. Keeping America's government open. Passing a bill to let the dreamers stay when the vast majority of Americans want the dreamers to stay. That's baby stuff. That's ABC stuff.

I mean, this week Congress was able to end the second shutdown of America's government in three weeks by - by passing a budget. But isn't passing budgets just Congress's job. That's what they are supposed to be doing.

If we were struggling over climate crisis, the wealth gap, world peace, I would understand. But we can barely do basic stuff anymore. And why is that? It's because it would take real courage and real character for our leaders to just reach across the aisle, form a stable bipartisan government majority, governing majority, and get stuff done. Instead the leaders are doing the opposite. They are just stoking up the outrage and anger in the country over and over again.

For example, some of us had hoped that Trump's chief of staff John Kelly would bring some order to the chaos in the White House. Never mind. I mean, you know, under his leadership, you know, the White House keeps trying to link the Dreamers who are overwhelmingly law- abiding to despicable street game. How is that a strategy to bring people together and pass something? It doesn't make any sense.

And it's worse than that. This week Kelly himself is out there accusing Dreamers of being lazy and need to get off their asses while he is covering up for an accused wife beater on his own staff, an accused wife beater.

And then Trump who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, he praised praise on the same accused wife beater but said nothing about the pain or the courage of the two former wives who are speaking out.

Look, that's not hard to get right. I mean, you are flanking prekindergarten crisis control there. And this is the same week that Mr. America first, Donald Trump said he wants to have a military parade in American streets because they are doing it in France.

I mean, the hypocrisy is every where. And it is not just Republicans. You know, the Democrats told us that shutdowns were terrible under Obama. But now they are mad that we don't have more shutdown.

The Republicans under Obama said that deficits were terrible, now they just love them to death, you know. There is something wrong right now in the country. And what we need is a rebirth of courage, of character in the country. And there is no family that symbolizes those virtues more than a McCain family.

For generation after generation, the McCains have emerged as leading patriots in their times. They stood up for their principals and been willing to pay a cost for doing so.

So my next guest is the latest in a long line of extraordinarily committed Americans. Please welcome to the VAN JONES SHOW, Meghan McCain.


MEGHAN MCCAIN, Thank you. A little intimidating all these photos.

JONES: Well, you know, we had so many to choose from. You and your family have been out there just doing extraordinary stuff.

MCCAIN: Thank you for having me. I haven't been on CNN in years.

[19:05:02] JONES: Welcome back. MCCAIN: Years. Thank you so much for having me.

JONES: Yes, it's great. You know, I want to say to your face, I have said it behind your back. I honestly don't know if the country deserves you.

MCCAIN: Oh, God.

JONES: And I say that honestly because you are so rooted. You are a principled conservative. Rooted in the best of the party - of your party. But you continue to try to reach out. You continue trying to make connections. And we just need a lot more of that. So let's give her another round of applause.


MCCAIN: I agree. I really genuinely appreciate that. Because I think a lot of those listening to your intro, it is easy to get very cynical right now. And it is easy to get very jaded. I have certainly found myself going to places like that that I didn't think I was really capable of in the past. Two-and-a-half years I think something, cancer combined with the election. I find myself getting a lot more just cynical about our country and hearing that, thank you very much. It means a lot.

JONES: Well, you know, your family has been key to this country through worst times even than this. So we can't have you giving up. But you mentioned the cancer. And every - my mom is sick. I told the audience, you know, last time she is getting a little bit better but she is still struggling. How is your dad?

MCCAIN: He is doing really good all things considered. I have been very open. He had sort of a bad bout at Christmas time. He was hospitalized at Walter Reid. He made ramifications from his chemo therapy. He had pneumonia. But he has made this like really incredible come back. And I was with him at Christmas time and he is doing a lot of physical therapy. Like a lot. And God bless his physical therapist who help him because they are endlessly patient.

And you know, he is doing good. It's really scary. I mean, I feel guilty all the time for being here and for doing my job. And you know, I mean, as much as I want to say I get cynical and doubt, I mean, I get up in the morning, I prep, get my hair and makeup done and dress, and talk. This is not the same thing as what my dad and so many millions of Americans are going through. And it is weird thing to try and live your life and still maintain your job and your life will also having this completely omni present in everything you do. I have found -- I have bonded with people I never thought I would have over this.

JONES: Yes. It's amazing, you know, how human it is you go to a hospital and it doesn't matter if you are rich or you are poor, that person in that bed is in their most fragile state. And people come together. But you don't do that just in hospital rooms, you do that, you know, beyond that. And it's tough. I want to say of all the great things your dad did, your dad has done

so many amazing things. The thing that touched me most was in the middle of the campaign where he was going up against President Trump and he spoke up for the best of this country.

I just want to show you this clip that everybody loves so much. I just want to show it one more time.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't trust Obama. I have read about him. And he's not -- he's an Arab. He's not -- no.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: No, ma'am. He is a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that's what this campaign is all about. He is not. Thank you.



MCCAIN: So good. Thank you.

I can't go a day without someone bringing that up. Every place I go on the subway, at restaurants, I cannot go a day without someone bringing up this moment. And I was there when it happened. I remember it incredibly vividly and thinking this is a moment that, you know, he is really not going to give in to what certain advisers are telling him to.

There were a lot of people really trying to get my dad to go with Jeremiah right, you are a Muslim, you are not an American aspect that, you know, later Republican politics sort of turned into and he refused. And he refused in that moment. And I can remember thinking that it was a morally amazing and beautiful moment. But that maybe there would be people in Republican Party that would be quite angry.

JONES: Yes. Well, you know, where did that courage go? I mean, that is courage. I mean, you have the biggest prize ever right in your grasp and you make a decision to say there is principles bigger than that that I will not violate even to grab the presidency. I don't see that courage in my party or your party. What do you think has happened?

MCCAIN: I think it doesn't win elections anymore in the saddest way I can say it. And I think that, I think about that moment and where we are at politically a lot. And I do think that if I could go back in time, and my dad could do it all over again, and he would say build the wall, you know, whatever, President Obama is a Muslim, it would not be worth it. I would say - I would still say don't do it.


MCCAIN: And let me tell you something. I mean, you know, my dad has glioblastoma multi forms stage 4 which I want to say the full cancer name whenever I have the opportunity to. When you are having the kind of conversations my family has been having, I feel such a relief right now and such a burden that is not on me. Because I can't imagine what it's like being president but giving that up. But doing it the way President Trump did it.

I don't think that dealing with cancer and the place I'm at in my life and where my family is at, I think it would be -- I think it would be a burden and I think it would be something that you have a hard time reconciling.

[19:10:16] JONES: Yes. Well, you are lucky to be able to rely on John McCain as your dad to give you advice. You used to be on FOX. And now you are on "the View."

MCCAIN: Yes. It is pretty crazy.

JONES: What role did your dad's advice play in giving you to make that decision?

MCCAIN: So I -- when I decided to take FOX he was really imploring me to take more risk and to take more chance like going on shows like this and to sort of get out of the echo chamber a little bit, because he does believe we are too insulated and we are too tribal. And I can remember when I got the phone call about "the View." I was actually in Mayo clinic with him when he was getting a scan, we were waiting for results, and he said, agent called me and looking for you, say no. I'm not interested. And he was like why would you say no to something like that with? To working with Whoopi Goldberg, to being the one Republican on this platform? And he keeps emphasizing (INAUDIBLE), take the moment, speak out to other sides. And I found myself - sorry, I can talk forever, by the way. I'm sorry.

JONES: Are you guys happy to hear what she has to say? I'm happy to hear what she say.


MCCAIN: I can literally talk and talk and talk.

JONES: But you know, just to play devil's advocate, though, did he give you bad advice? Because now you are on the view and, you know, it looks like sometimes like rock and sock and robots. I mean, and you are the only one that is there. I mean, how does it feel when you are in those really tough exchanges? And sometimes people are, you know, they are basically implying you are a racist. They are implying, you know, and sometimes the audience is mean. I mean, how do those exchanges feel for you?

MCCAIN: Well, I mean, it's not pleasant when, you know, the audience, physical audience in there tends to be mostly liberal. But I don't regret anything. And it's really huge privilege to be on this show. The women who cohost the show, especially Whoopi and Joy have been doing it Whoopi 11 years, and Joy 20 and legends. And I'm -- it's a privilege to be there every day. It is challenging every part of my profession that I know because it's almost like trying to learn how to speak a new language, trying to speak to not just only what they just call them liberals. It is like the most extreme liberals that I have ever met in my life trying to sort of showcase and show my beliefs and express it in a concise way.

JONES: What do liberals get wrong? I mean, you are one of the few people, every day you are trying to bridge that gap. Give us some feedback. What are we missing? What are we screwing up? When you go back to your dressing room, you just want to put your head on your desk. Like what is it that liberals need to get better about in this whole situation we are in?

MCCAIN: So I am first to say I wasn't a huge Trump supporter for all obvious reason. But I decided on election night that I was going to try and as unemotional s possible in analyzing him and his presidency. I'm a political commentator and I want to call balls and strikes in the way that I can. And I don't think I suffer from Trump derangement syndrome in the sense that I can separate the man from the White House.

I have never been accused of being racist before in my entire life until recently, until President Trump became president. And I think the problem with that is, and I understand there is a lot of tensions in this country that are overheating in a way that we have never seen before. And what a historically incredibly turbulent moment. And I don't pretend to understand the experience of minorities in this country. But I will say that I have vivid memories of my father being called racist. I have memories of President Bush being called racist, of Mitt Romney, of Jed Bush.

JONES: Over doing that particular charge, now it's almost like an anti antibiotic that we just use too much and now we don't have any real effect sometimes.

MCCAIN: I think it does a dis-service to real racism. And I think that ---


MCCAIN: Thank you. And I think that for me I want to separate those things. And I don't want that to be thrown around the way that it is. And I understand there is a lot of pain right now. But it hurts me when you are throwing out that I and basically the party I'm in and all the people that are in it are one giant entity and everything is the same and it as simple as you are a racist.

And John Stewart actually had this really amazing quote that he said and I'm going to butcher it a bit that he knows good people who not scared of black people, they are not scared of brown people. They are scared of their insurance premiums going up.

And that I do think there is a lot of gray zone with Trump supporters. And I would like both of us, myself included, because I'm certainly guilty of this as well, to stop throwing around, you know, horrible allegations and name calling.

JONES: The blanket condemnations of both sides.


JONES: Well, we got to come back and talk about that and a number of other things.

When we come back we are going to get Meghan McCain's predictions for future of the Republican Party. And that's next.

MCCAIN: Duck and cover.

JONES: It's coming. See you when we get back.


[19:18:36] JONES: Welcome back to the VAN JONES SHOW. I am here with my guest Meghan McCain.

Look. I want to talk with you about immigration, that is the next big, big fight. You know, you were saying when we left you that saw some areas where liberals could grow and learn. You know, there has been really some tough talk on the immigration front, sometimes inflammatory, you know. Some that feels racist from the right.

What do you think that conservatives are missing? What do you think the conservatives could be learning in this moment? Because you emotionally intellectually have to deal with liberals every day. What can you tell a conservative that they wouldn't know?

MCCAIN: I think especially on DACA and Dreamers, that overwhelming majority is on the same page with this. So there is a lot of room for bipartisan agreement. I don't pretend to understand on both sides why we haven't made more movement there. I will say that when my father was part of the gang of eight and I can never remember more intensely. The protesting in anger than when he was trying to pass the bill with the other eight senators and I remember they are being signs outside his office saying Jose McCain and Lindsey Gomez like obviously incredibly, you know --.

JONES: Racists.

MCCAIN: Incendiary, I guess, rhetoric. And it is something that is very hard lined and tribal in the Republican party. I remember reading a quote by Ann Coulter where she said that President Trump can perform abortions in the White House as long as he kept this hardline on immigration. And for whatever reason, it is an issue that really gins up the base and hardline, build the wall, you know, Mexicans are rapist and criminals.

[19:20:03] JONES: Do you think that the average conservative understands, you know, when a John Kelly, chief of staff says the Dreamers are lazy and they should get off their asses. That is so painful and so offensive. Do you think the conservatives get that at emotional levels?

MCCAIN: I think we are going to have to as point because they do think a lot of things will change after the Trump era or this, at least going into midterms. And the face of America is changing in a lot of ways. I'm from a border state whether you like it or not. And I think that this language -- I never thought it would work to begin with, so I'm probably the wrong person to bring out my crystal ball going forward in 2020. But I do think there will be real-life ramifications in midterms and with whoever the next presidential nominee is.

And yes, I have always understand it is hurtful. But I work with a woman name Sonny Hostin, who is my co-host on "the View" and she is Puerto Rican. And she came in the day that ass-hole comments were made by President Trump and she was so upset. And it is not that I don't know people who are people because obviously I live in the real world. But there is something about seeing this real emotion from a woman I respect so much. And her husband is Haitian and her children are Haitian. And hearing her story that she was worried that her son was going to go to school and be scapegoated and feel less the man. That is certainly something I didn't think would be happening in America.

JONES: I think one thing that I'm glad that you are on "the View" and, you know, when you know somebody, you know, I mean, I know a lot of conservatives. And lots of them used to say about Republicans I would never say now, because I know how that lands for them. And I think that that's really important.

Also, these issues come up, you know, immigration, you have to have a PhD to understand it. I actually am trying to understand and I want to show you an explainer that, you know, I made about one of the phrases that the president uses all the time.



We have some bad (INAUDIBLE) here and we need to get them out.

We want to get rid of chain migration.

JONES (voice-over): The hotter the immigration debate gets the more confusing the rhetoric gets. I want you to make sure you understand some of the terms being thrown around. For instance, chain migration.

TRUMP: Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.

JONES: That's just not true. Currently, U.S. citizens are allowed to sponsor only their spouses or fiances, their children or parents, and their siblings. That's it. If are you a green card holder are you allowed to sponsor your spouse or unmarried children just for permanent residence.

Now, in theory, newly naturalized citizens could sponsor their family members who can then sponsor their family members who can then sponsors their family members creating this long chain. But that scenario is highly unlikely because the process is just not that easy. It takes years, sometimes even decades for a single family member to get approved for a visa. So the term chain migration is not only misleading, it is considered highly insulting and derogatory to many immigrants. Good thing the official term for this is actually family unification. Yes, keeping families together. That doesn't sound quite as scary.


JONES: You know, I applaud my little video there. I worked hard on that.


JONES: You know, the language, you know, the language of different sides use, whatever, this makes everything so hard. You mentioned you being from a border state. Arizona.

MCCAIN: Arizona, yes.

JONES: Jeff Flake.

MCCAIN: I know.

JONES: How do you feel? Talk to us about Jeff Flake winning the Senate. He is so good.

MCCAIN: You know, he is intensely unpopular with Republicans. And I should say my father is intensely unpopular with Republicans. I think Jeff Flake is the least popular and my father is the third least popular because I think we are the party of Trump right now. And if you go against him especially as vocally and intensely as Jeff Flake has, there are ramifications for the base, especially in Arizona has got.

JONES: Do you think that he should primary Donald Trump? To Jeff Flake primary Donald Trump and get this conversation going at a national level?

MCCAIN: I think it's a nice pipe dream in this room. I don't know how it works in Iowa, at New Hampshire. I don't know if there is -- as much as I want to believe that there is this room for more independent, more moderate Republicans, I just don't know if Trumpism is leaving any time soon. And it's more than likely he will run for president again. And I would like to see just from a debate standpoint, but I don't think there is any chance of him winning.

JONES: You are McCain. I mean, don't you think this on principal they should, you sound almost like kind of resigned a little bit about the party?

MCCAIN: Because I know what the party is.

JONES: What is the party?

MCCAIN: It's Trumpism right now. Have no doubt about it. Trumpism has really taken over. And it has been a difficult thing for me to come to terms with. JONES: Didn't he see why sometimes people do throw this lump category

against all the Republicans where you are all this negative thing, if the political force of Trumpism has so much momentum?

[19:20:04] MCCAIN: I do understand it. But I also think there is a nuance in it. Because a lot of people voted for President Trump because they were so disillusioned with Hillary Clinton or because they were more worried about their economy than the job. And they have let a lot go --.

JONES: Another question for you. One of the things your dad got criticized for was picking Sarah Palin.

MCCAIN: I totally forgot about that.

JONES: But maybe he was ahead at this time. In some ways, isn't this the party, not really just to Donald Trump, but wasn't -- isn't this really the party of Sarah Palin? And if she had -- she would have run now, someone like that run now, how well do you think Sarah Palin would do in modern Republican Party?

MCCAIN: I still think President Trump is lightning in a bottle. I don't think he is going to be emulated very easily. And the billionaires who are Mark Cuba and (INAUDIBLE) talking about running for president, I don't think it's easy. I think it is a very specific man and a very specific moment, you know.

I think the question of Sarah Palin because I have heard it argued to me before that she was sort of like the first opening of the populous movement within our Republican party. I'm mixed on it because part of me thinks, yes, that could be true. The other part of me think that it was just the wave where the party was going.

I don't know. I just wish there was more room in the Republican Party for different, you know, perspectives and different leaders. But I have thought that since 2009. So it is not -- this isn't something new. It just seems to be particularly insular right now.

JONES: Tell me about your relationship with Joe Biden.

MCCAIN: Oh, my God. If he runs for president I'm screwed in every way.

JONES: Why. Why do you love Joe Biden?

MCCAIN: Well, he has been friends with my father for like 30- something years. And his son had had glioblastoma multi-form like my father has. And there was something about him that he - I think he has experienced so much pain and trauma in his life that he just understands pain and trauma in a way that I don't think most people do. And he has become -- I was always friendly with him in the sense you are friendly when you see someone socially whose friends with your parents.

But in the past six months he has really become someone I have turned to when I feel like the world is falling in. And he is the former vice president of the United States of America. And the fact that he makes time for that and cares and says the kind of, you know, wonderful things that he said on "the View," which I didn't expect to cry and I ended up doing.

He is a very special man. I disagree with him 75 percent politically, but he is such -- there is a level of decency and character that reminds me of my dad. And I don't know -- if he runs for president I don't know what I'm going to do. I might to have to get out of business because I don't think I can bring myself to say anything negative about him. I mean it. It would be too hard.

JONES: Well, you know, you said something that your dad was the third least popular, so unpopular.

MCCAIN: Among Republicans.

JONES: Among Republicans. And I just want to say something to you in closing. This country has a way of recognizing greatness, not in the moment, but in time. And you are one of the part of the greatest families. John McCain is one of the greatest Americans. We thank you for your service and commitment.

MCCAIN: Thank you. And I'm so proud. Thank you so much.


JONES: All right. Meghan McCain. Thank you for being here.

Up next, we have super bowl champ Malcolm Jenkins. And I'm getting in the van. I'm going to Houston. That city was ravaged by the hurricane Harvey. Now they are having a political storm. I'm going to take you there when we come back.


[19:32:06] JONES: Everybody is watching as immigration battle play out in Washington D.C. But I want to get a sense of these conversations on the ground in the cities actually directly impacted. So I got back in my van, yes, Van in the van, and I went to Houston, Texas, a place that has about a million immigrants.

Now, you think of Houston these days, you think about hurricane Harvey. But some of storm's biggest victims and the biggest heroes were undocumented immigrants. Now everybody's hearts went out to them in the middle of the flood. But a week later President Trump rescinded DACA and put thousand of Houston's storm battered Dreamers under threat of deportation.

So I wanted to go to Houston and seeing how they are dealing with the aftermath of both of these challenges. Check this out.


JONES: Houston, Texas. That big old storm. Let's see how they have survived the political stuff. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice ride you have here.

JONES: Yes. Listen, man. It's state of the art.

Welcome, welcome, welcome. Get in this van. We need you.

Hey, buddy, how are you?

Can I borrow those pecks? You are in good shape, brother.

Thank you, guys.

Everybody around the world saw those images, saw the floods, saw whole neighborhoods under water. The flood waters have receded, but some of the pain is still here.

Jesus, you know, you are a paramedic and you were in the thick of everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were working nonstop, those six days pulling people out of the water, you know. Seeing people go through these, you know, emotional roller coasters losing their houses, losing their - and family members. Seven days of kind of volunteering and helping nonstop. I get to watch the news and it's the president saying that there is plans on resending DACA.

JONES: So you are a dreamer.


JONES: You have DACA status.


JONES: And you came to the United States when you were five, is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. Yes, five.

JONES: So you are both came to the United States when you were five years old.


JONES: That's amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I actually just became a citizen, a U.S. citizen. And my first vote was for Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the citizenship part.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to the team, brother. JONES: OK. So hold on a second. So we have two kids from Mexico,

basically the same age, one is now a citizen, one is a Dreamer. And one voted for Donald Trump.

Why did you vote for Donald Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just look at what's going on right now, the economy is up, jobs are coming back to America. He was just the right guy.

JONES: When he first announced, and he said, you know, Mexicans not sending their best people. They are sending rapists. And some of them he said might be good people. How did that land with you?

[19:35:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he didn't refer to all Mexicans. He surely didn't refer to the people who were in Mexico. I think Donald Trump cares a whole lot about all Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a Christian, I can say that no human is perfect, right. So I can understand why somebody like Donald Trump is as ignorant as he is. Because he has never had to live that struggle. He has never been an immigrant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just don't understand how you can go to a country and call their president ignorant and then tell him to give you legal status. I just don't understand that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to call ignorance when I see it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So why would somebody want to help if you are treating them like that? I would be grateful for giving a chance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's in a dictatorship. I'm not going to pretend that I'm going to suck up to him just so he can give me legal status.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus, wouldn't you see the frustration where you are sitting next to guy that came here and did legally and you came in didn't do it legally? Cant you see why some people would be frustrated by that?

JONES: And can you see how for a young guy like Jesus, I mean, it basically it seems that when the Europeans were coming over here it was all right. Now, people want to come it is not all right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we should be doing it. But things might have changed a little bit the last 250 years or 200 years. But yes, we have rules now and that's how we maintain society.

JONES: This obsession with the wall, I think for some people feels like an obsession with people of a certain skin color from certain part of the world. Why is southern border so important? Does it have anything to do with the fact that a bunch of brown people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It isn't even brown people. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico has a lot of violence, it just does. South

America, Central America, a lot of Central American countries, they just have a lot of violence. And I know because I have been there. This is not offensive or anything but I feel like it's almost like betrayal. You know, you came here, you made it. You are a citizen now, so you know, forget the rest of the people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's absolutely not true. I respect American national sovereignty, but I also respect Mexican national sovereignty. But at the end of the day some had to come for urgent situations. My mom had to bring me here and there was no way for us to come here legally and do things the right way because we were going to be persecuted. My dad was involved with drugs and the drug cartel and so we were trying to leave that life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the state of the union I think he sounded very compassionate. He said I'm going to help 1.8 million DACA recipients and he is going to give actual legal status.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My DACA expires October 13th of 2018 so I have an expiration date on my forehead, you know. And it's coming soon. And ka lot of people think, well, let's leave it up to legislation. So if legislation doesn't come up with the solution, you know, come October, then I'm deported.

JONES: So stereotype now, the Trump voters heartless people, you are mean, you tough on Mexicans. So you are heartless and mean and tough on Mexicans?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not heartless and mean. I enjoy helping folks that come here.

JONES: What is significant about this high school?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crystal Ray was started about six years ago. And these kids are primarily Latino and lower income housing. Many of them are DACA kids. In my company, what we do is fund scholarships for these kids.

JONES: Why do you personally do this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was -- my dad died when I was seven years old and I was raised by a single mom. We ask parents pay whatever they can pay. And we had a woman in our first year that could not afford to provide anything. She said I can provide tortillas to the school. So every week she brought tortillas to the school, so that kids could have them. That was her total contribution. So we make that kind of commitment for the children. I think it is a big difference and those are the kind of people we want to support in the community here.

JONES: You have two guys, one is for Trump, one is against Trump, but both are helping the community. Both saw their mom struggle through. And both would do anything to help undocumented kid. I don't think anybody knows that. I don't think the country knows that that's really what's going on here in Houston.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody wants to be here working hard and doing things that make this country great again.

JONES: Had to get that in there. That was good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were so close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just trying to help you out, brother.



JONES: That was a hard core Trump supporter who wants to build the wall, but he was moved to tears about helping personally undocumented kids. As I said before you all, the truth is messy.

And when we come back, the super bowl champion Malcolm Jenkins is here. We are talking to him about his big win and why he won't be celebrating at the White House. See you when we get back.



[19:43:30] JONES: Brand new super bowl champion but he has been a champion for social justice for years. Please welcome Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins in the house.


JONES: Congratulations, man.


JONES: You did it. So before we get into the all political stuff, how does it feel to beat Tom Brady?

JENKINS: Feels good, man.


JENKINS: Feels good.

JONES: Yes, man. So I mean that last couple minutes, man, I was biting my nails. I thought you were goners. What happened?

JENKINS: I mean, you know, it was a close game. We knew that the Patriots would adjust at halftime and it would come down to the wire. We knew at one point we needed to make a play. Brandon Brown made it and --.

JONES: Here we are.

JENKINS: Got the first Super Bowl championship in Philadelphia.


JONES: Amazing.


JONES: You don't just have two Super Bowl rings. You also have now two daughters.


JONES: That is crazy. I mean, like literally like ten seconds before the game started. Tell us about your daughter.

JENKINS: Yes. We just had my second daughter Salam Jenkins. January 16th week of NFC championship.

JONES: Look at that.

JENKINS: She is down on the field after the game. It was at Super Bowl. So fun times in the household.

JONES: Yes. Well, listen. You know, I think a lot of times when people see these kinds of the protests and that type of stuff on the field, they think that you guys just got political like 15 seconds ago.

But you have been actively involved in community stuff for years. I mean, we have a whole -- I tried to put it in. I said let's put it up on the screen. We have a whole list of stuff you have been doing. You have been doing Ride-Along with police. You have been meeting with legislatures. You have been testifying in front of Capitol Hill.

Why do you, as an athlete, feels important for you to keep doing all this stuff? And it is not just the protests on the field. You are doing real hard work.

[19:45:31] JENKINS: Yes, I think most of us, especially in NFL, you look at where these players are coming from, basically same neighborhoods and communities that are under served, that are depleted, and we are sometimes the few that have gone out and made it, you know. And had the opportunity through sports to go to college, get an education and experience some things.

JONES: Well, why do you just stay going? I mean, you got out. I mean, why are you going back?

JENKINS: Well, I mean, my family still lives in the same area that I grew up in. My dad lives in the same house that he grew up in. My family is all in northern New Jersey. And you see, you know, some of the disparities in our country and in justices, not only effect my family but the kids that I serve through my foundation all over the country, you know. I can have them in my program but I'm still sending them back to that neighborhood that has, you know, no opportunity, no real chance for them to thrive.

JONES: You know, you and Anquan Bolden did something that was really extraordinary. You got 40 players together to create something called the players coalition. And that coalition is actually been bargaining and negotiating with the NFL to try to get them to do more. You have 3-point agenda around criminal justice, around police reform, around education. I mean, this is the highly unusual. Why did you decide to go and get all these people together just to work as a unit?

JENKINS: Yes. Well, shortly after the player protests started in 2016, after Kaepernick started that whole movement, Anquan Bolden reached out to a couple of guys or to a group of guys that were already kind of talking in (INAUDIBLE). And we organized the trip to D.C. We met with legislatures on both sides of the aisle about criminal justice reform. And we took two trips. And after our second trip, Anquan and I, you know, we sat down and said if we could, you know, a group of five athletes use our influence to get all of these meetings that activists and people who do this stuff daily can't get, you know, how much more leverage can we have if we actually create a collusion of players all over this league that can obviously create change in these 32 cities in our country? And because we knew there was interest of other guys. So we started reaching out to our peers. And soon after started what we were calling the players coalition.

JONES: And you know, how is it going? I mean, it's got to be weird for -- this is not like a normal like labor union. I mean, you guys are getting together not fighting for your own benefit, but for the communities benefits. How is it going?

JENKINS: I mean, it is a learning curve for us. And, you know, we have done a good job of really reaching out to experts in the field to kind of, one, teach us what's happening, and just using our voices and platforms to educate our fan base, to draw attention to solutions and how everybody can play a role in it.

JONES: Well, you know, it seems to me that, you know, given how politically engaged you are and how sophisticated you are going to the White House would be next logical step. But you said you are not going to the White House.

Brother, why aren't you going to the White House? People go on planes, brother. They stand in long lines to get into the White House. Why are you not going to the White House?

JENKINS: Well, me personally I have been to the White House before. Winning a championship with the Saints, I did the whole, you know, going to the White House, taking picture with the president. At this point in time I'm not interested in photo ops, you know. I'm very interested in doing the work on criminal justice reform. Very interested in meeting with members of both parties that matter to me. Where that work is, is where I will be. And this is not just one of those opportunities. This is celebratory event where, you know, we come, the president comes in shakes a couple hands, takes a picture and leaves. And I'm just not interested in that.

JONES: I mean, but if you don't go does it make it seem like you are not Patriotic. You don't need --. You are mad at America? I mean, how do you deal with people make those kinds of criticisms?

JENKINS: I mean, I think everybody has their own opinion, you know. When it comes to this presidency I'm just I'm not very excited about getting my picture taken with him, you know. It is just not worth my time. I would rather spend my time working with, you know, whoever on these issues that we have been fighting for. That's just my personal decision.

JONES: Tough question for you. You said one of your big pillars is criminal justice reform. And the White House, there are people now pushing to make that happen. If Donald Trump called you and said look, I don't like your protests. I don't like your flag stuff, whatever. I will put that to one side. Come to the oval office and talk to me about a substantive issue like criminal justice reform. Would you do it?

JENKINS: I think I would definitely consider it. I mean, if I wouldn't, then, you know, what is it that I'm trying to accomplish? And so if you can go directly to the president of the United States and talk about these issues that are playing our communities, I think that's a responsibility for us regardless of how you feel about somebody on a personal level.

[19:50:01] JONES: Well, give him a round of applause. That's what's not happening.


JONES: Look, I mean, that's the kind of leadership that's not happening. You have people literally just will not even get in a room together because they disagree. But I can tell your commitment.

I want to say something to you personally which I don't think I have been able to you before. What you guys have been able to do is unreal. As greats a Mohamed Ali was, he never got the whole of boxing to sit down and talk with him about the issue. As great as Kareem Abdul Jabbar was, he never got the whole NBA to sit down and talk with him about the issue.

You guys have gotten the entire NFL, the owners and leaders have to sit down and actually negotiate with you, you know, human being to human being, not about your salary but about social justice. This never happened before. It is an honor to meet you. Keep doing what you are doing.


JONES: Now, you got a little bit more with Malcolm Jenkins when we get back after this quick break. And we have got the answer to a question you will want to hear the answers to when we get back.



[19:55:00] JONES: I am back with super bowl champion, activist and entrepreneur Malcolm Jenkins.

Look. I have crowd sourced a bunch of questions from the viewers and here is one. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does social activism have a financial impact on

professional athletes? If so, what is the positives? What's the negatives?

JENKINS: I think when it comes to your finances, it usually is off the field. Nobody yet has been actively fired for their activism. When you are on a market, you have seen Colin Kaepernick not be able to get a job afterwards, but nobody has yet been fired.

JONES: Is it worth it then to do what you are doing?

JENKINS: I think so. It is always based on the results. If you want to a positively impact your community and you want to push for change, change comes with a cost and a sacrifice. And you have seen the money off of the field be hurt. There are sponsors and endorsements that you will lose as an activist or there are companies that even though they deal with the NFL, you don't want to necessarily reach out to the, you know, the hot button items. But it's one of those things that for me at least is worth it.

JONES: Well, one reason it is worth it is because you are an entrepreneur in your own right. You got a fashion line, you know. You are out there. You are not waiting for opportunity. You are making opportunities. You are making plays. You are making a difference. We appreciate having you here. Thank you very, very much.

I'm Van Jones. This is the VAN JONES SHOW. I want to thank you very much. I will see you next time. Peace and love for one another.