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The Van Jones Show

Interview with Seth Meyers; Interview with Kim Kardashian West. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 16, 2018 - 19:00   ET



[19:00:16] VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Van Jones. Welcome to the VAN JONES SHOW.

We have another amazing show for you guys tonight with two awesome superstar guests. First up, comic genius, Seth Meyers is in the building. He is already here. Give him some love.


JONES: Seth Meyers!

Now Seth Meyers is a funny guy. But he is not just a funny guy, OK. He is using his late night comic platform to take on some of the most serious topics that are facing our country. And honestly, sometimes, it takes somebody with "Saturday Night Live" level comedy skills just to convey all the absurdity that is going on in the country right now. And he pulls it off night after night. So I'm happy to have him here.

Also for the first time, we're going to air my full exclusive interview with Kim Kardashian West tonight on the VAN JONES SHOW.


JONES: This week, Kim got a chance to meet face-to-face for the very first time with the newly freed Alice Johnson. Now, that is a great grandmother who was serving a life sentence for a first time drug offense. Life sentence, first time offense. Now, Kim appealed personally to President Trump and he commuted her sentence, to hats off to Donald Trump for doing that.

Now after 21 years, Miss Johnson is finally free. And such an important story about redemption, about embracing second chances, both for Alice Johnson and Kim Kardashian West.

Now to be fair, Miss Alice Johnson did mess up pretty bad in 1993. She lost her job, she lost her husband through a divorce and then she lost her son in a motorcycle accident. She fell in with the wrong crowd. She got involved with drugs. Now that's now excuses, it just facts.

But behind bars, she was a model of good behavior. Never got in trouble which is almost impossible in prison not to get in any trouble in prison. Took classes, became an ordained minister. She got certified to be a hospice worker, personal trainer, everything. That's called evolving. That's called making the best of a bad situation. And there are many more people like her behind bars. And I hope President Trump, let's more than come home soon.

Now, speaking about evolution, hats off to Kim Kardashian West, too. Her image has never been of a serious social justice advocate. Far from it. But it give credit where credit is due. It takes a lot of courage to go in that White House to meet with a polarizing President to help somebody you have never even met. Kim -- she (INAUDIBLE) doing that -- not (ph) doing that at all.

And it wasn't that just one meeting in the oval office. She worked hard. She was behind the scenes for months. So what's the lesson here? Whether you are a down on your luck mom or an iconic celebrity, change is possible. And as a society we got to start to recognizing that and embrace second chances, especially for people who put in the hard work to make a new start.

Now that said, our leaders shouldn't just start passing our free grace and forgiveness to anybody who -- especially people who haven't earned that. For instance, excuse me, I am very glad we are not going to have bombs falling on San Francisco. I give Trump his fair kudos for finding some way to cool off the tensions between us and North Korea. But President Trump should not be wandering around praising the most barbaric, brutal, murderous dictator on the planet and making excuses his despicable behavior.

Republicans skewered Obama just for even nodding his head at a Japanese official and defend. That's our ally. Trump should not be saluting military butchers who are torturing and killing their own people. And the time, threatening to blow us up.

Listen. Unlike Miss Alice Johnson, Kim Jong-un has never repented. He has not learned anything. He is not even promising to think about doing better. He does not deserve our Grace or Donald Trump's flattery.

I never thought that I would see a U.S. President kissing up to North Korea's bloody dictator and then slamming our new enemy, Canada. So that is where we are. If anybody can help us make sense of these absurd times, it is our next guest.

Please welcome to VAN JONES SHOW, the good brother, Seth Meyers' in the house.


JONES: The legend. I love it.


SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: One of the first things I had to learn about hosting a talk show is you got to let the guest sit first, but I forgot I'm the guest.

[19:05:02] JONES: You are the guest. We were both standing. MEYERS: I remembered that I was allowed the sit down before you.

JONES: You are allowed to sit down and you are welcome to be here. Though I'm mad at you.


JONES: I think this is all your fault.


JONES: You were the comic who at the White House Correspondents dinner poke the bear. You were talking about poking the bear, you poked the bear.


JONES: I want to you show you the jokes the you told to this guy, Donald Trump, which I think made him decide to run for office. Roll the tape.


MEYERS: Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as Republican which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke.


MEYERS: Donald Trump often appears on FOX, which is ironic because a fox often appears on Donald Trump's head.

Donald Trump said recently, he has a great relationship with the blacks, though unless they're a family of white people, I bet he has mistaken.



JONES: Do you have any regrets, sir? For unleashing this?

MEYERS: No, I think I did the right thing back then. I was calling him out, you know. This was a time when he was calling into question whether or not President Obama was born here. Which was BS then and is BS now. But that was -- he revealed who he was then and it was totally fair to go after him. Now it didn't turn out the way I thought it would.

JONES: When he won, did you like think to yourself, am I going get deported?

MEYERS: Well first, I thought he was going to lose. I thought everybody was going to say, you tricked him into running.

JONES: Yes. No. MEYERS: And then I woke up, you know. Obama also told jokes about

him that night and looking back, I do think it was his fault.


JONES: That's good. Well listen, I mean, as frustrated people might be about you may be having pulled in Donald Trump, you know, you also may be pushed out Sarah Palin. You know, you were at "Saturday Night Live" and you were head writer when Tina Fyey created this now iconic impersonation. Talk about that.

MEYERS: Well, I would like to point out that this speaks to exactly how little power maybe us comedians have. Because in 2008, we got a lot of credit, "SNL." Oh my God, they, you know, they buried the political aspirations of Sarah Palin, but I would say Donald Trump took that tenfold and obviously, didn't make a difference.

So, you know, I think you step back and say, it might just be coin- lips (ph) here as far what comedy does. The thing I will say, we got lucky with was we had to do Sarah Palin six times then she lost and we didn't have to worry about it anymore. Whereas I do feel for the current "SNL" staff because the thing that was supposed to go away is now an every week issue for them. But I think they are doing a great job with it.

JONES: Well, you have to face the same challenges as a comedian. You know, night after night after night dealing with the sort of theatre of the absurd. I mean, at some point, I mean, how do you evaluate Donald Trump as an entertainer? In other words, you work with some of the best entertainers in the world. I know a thing about him as a political leader. But just as a pure entertainer, where do you rank him?

MEYERS: Oh, I think he is fantastic entertainer. I think he is -- you know, anyone who says he is not incredibly magnetic, has an ability to play to the crowd is undervaluing him. I actually think that he has -- his stump speech, he built the same way a standup comedian builds their act. And that he tries out new things and the stuff that works goes into the act as a recurring bit.

You know, I think build the wall, you know, he said that and got a reaction and you could watch him say, oh, yes, that's going to do in now. Lock her up. That's a hit. I'm going to do that every time I go out. And so -- but that was -- it was just watching a really good stand up by materials. So I do think he comes at it as an entertainer far more than just a politician.

JONES: If he stopped saying crazy stuff, would you be sad?

MEYERS: No. I would be happy.

JONES: Think about it.

MEYERS: No. I wanted to make sure I was framing. I said it right. Look, I would happily push aside what he gives us every day for a more balanced leadership for the country. I don't value my show's success over the country's.

JONES: You are really tough on him. A lot of the late night folks are really tough on him. Do you feel that the red state folks have a legitimate complaint when they say all these late night guys are just, you know, attack squad against the President and there's no diversity there when it comes to any logical diversity or fairness.

MEYERS: Look. I can understand that they don't like it. And I certainly respect their opinion to choose not to watch. With that said, most comedians are pretty consistent in calling out hypocrisy and lying. I don't think, you know, we don't every day just say, hey, we got to attack Donald Trump, what is there? It's the opposite.

The thing comes first and then we realize in order to talk about it is to in some degree to attack Donald Trump. Like the day he stops giving us stuff to talk about, we will move on to something else. But it's not like we have to, you know, go searching through the corners of the internet to find something crazy he said. Yes, I mean, we just put on CNN and just wait.


[19:10:20] JONES: You know, some people might say though that maybe you are making it worse in terms of the polarization or tribalism. You even had a, I think, a stockholder at Comcast, I'm sure your company saying that, you know, you in particular, you are borderline treasonous because you are just a professional presidential critic. I mean, how do you respond to those kinds of concerns that, yes, sure. You know, Donald Trump is a character. But are you making it worse? Is there a danger of making it worse by being so tough on him?

MEYERS: I don't -- I can't answer that. I mean, some people might think that I'm making it worse, some don't. The only thing I would say is I feel like I'm being very true to my values when I say what that person just said is a lie. I don't feel like I'm coming at that at progressive or as a Democrat. I feel like that's just very clearly a lie. And I think if Trump supporters could step out of supporting for him, they would also say, I'm not being presidential basher, saying that's a lie. It just is. And I'm calling it what it is. I think comedians are very good when they call things out for exactly what they are.

JONES: What is the goal of the show? Because it's not that you just sit up there and say bad stuff about Donald Trump. You know, you sometimes will take a whole ten minutes, which in TV, is an eternity, for a closer look and you will actually dissect an issue like, you know, guns or immigration. And it's funny, this is not Johnny Carson stuff? I mean, you are not doing Johnny Carson. Even when you are not tough on the President, you are really serious about these issues. Why do you do that? That's extra work for you.

MEYERS: There are things we tried to talk about and there are issues that so fraught that we haven't been able to succeed and then we do put that away until we can find way to talk about it that's also comic. But then we do a lot of silly and dumb things as well. And I'm very happy to have that, too, because I feel like we can use stupidity as an escape these days.

But I think, you know, the nice thing is audiences are willing to engage in comedy shows in a way they haven't in the past in so far as they are willing to get a degree of the news from a comedy show. I would stress that you should get it from the news first. A supplement to the news.

JONES: Thank you for saying that on CNN. We really appreciate that.

MEYERS: Can I just stress, you know, when people are saying, do you feel like a journalist? I know I'm not a journalist because I have to watch journalism networks like this to know what to talk at.

JONES: Thank you for that endorsement. And we need more of that when we come back.

When we come back, I got a lot more to talk about with Seth Meyers about. And we got to try to learn a little more about the human being behind the -- yes, we are going to do it. That's next.



[19:16:20] JONES: Welcome to the VAN JONES SHOW. I'm here with Seth Meyers who is host of "Late Night with Seth Meyers."

Look, you know, you are an icon, a legend, all that kind of stuff.

MEYERS: I don't think either of those are true.

JONES: Very, very true. Do you guys agree?


JONES: I win. I win. But you know, when you first got to "SNL," which, you know, for a lot of people, just being at "SNL" is the height of their career aspirations. You would assume you were super happy about it. But at the very beginning, you were blue. You felt almost like an imposter.


Can you talk about that? Because it is hard to imagine, somebody with your level of talent feeling like an imposter. What is that like?

MEYERS: Well, you know, and you have to remember at my level of talent is I'm very good at sitting behind a desk telling jokes, but that -- there is a different talent to being a huge star at "SNL." I mean, ultimately it worked out for me by the time I got to the update desk, but at the beginning, the things that make people like (INAUDIBLE) hater so great at the show were not skills I had. And it was hard because you get hired at "SNL" and you think if they hired me, they know what they are doing. I'm going to be great at this. And then you realized, maybe they are having doubts as well that they screwed this up. And it's scary because you go from basically being an improviser who

is living in Chicago to being on the same cast as Will Farrell and you realize oh, what I thought was a fastball is not a fastball. My fastest pitch is like 72 miles per hour right down the middle. So yes, it was a tough time. And you know, I was lucky enough that they were patient with me and let me find my line of the show. But it was not -- yes, the few years it was -- were rough.

JONES: I think it's important for people to know that. Because, you know, we are dealing with, you know, Anthony Bourdain and other people. And I think a lot of times, people on the outside they may look like they are being successful but on the inside, people could be going through a lot.

I mean, what you have by way of advice for people who are going through those kind of tough and difficult moments? Not that you were at that level, but I mean, this is a very tough business that you are in.

MEYERS: No, it's true. And I think one of the problems for people who are on the outside successful is they feel like the last thing anybody wants to hear them talk about is they are depressed. Because from the outside, people like what do you have to be depressed about? You have everything anyone could want. So, you know, I think we would be better off if more successful people were honest and shared the fact that that depression is, you know, it is something that chases you no matter what your status is.

JONES: Equal opportunity.

MEYERS: Yes. And that. You know, people shouldn't feel shame about it because it is a very real thing.

JONES: Another thing that and you sometimes have shown on the show, but don't talk about it as much as you might is the fact you are a dad.


JONES: And you are not only a dad, you are a dad in the worst possible time because they are both tiny people with diapers and stuff like that. You got a 2-year-old and a 2-month-old. How has that affected your life?

MEYERS: I just made it clear to them, I said look, I'm a talk show host, you guys got to figure this out. I know a lot of other 2-year- olds are still wearing diapers. You got to figure it out then you got to --.


MEYERS: No. They are great. I mean, it's the greatest time, I mean, I think for anybody. Every moment with kids is the greatest time to have kids because when things are good and you are thinking, man, this only makes it better or things are bad and you think, thank God I have these guys to come home to. It's just the greatest gift in the world. It was the reaction I was trying to get.

JONES: You say that as if, you know, the new one didn't have the most dramatic entrance. Tell the story of how Axel got here.

MEYERS: My son, Axel, was born in the lobby of our apartment building because he came really quickly. He came quick.

JONES: So how does this happen? I mean like one labor pain then the baby comes out?

MEYERS: It was basically was. We were dialed in, ready for this to start. And she basically had one long contraction and we were walking to the Uber and she said, no, I'm not going to make it and we walked back in. And you know, lobbies are, those who don't have one, they are public spaces. There's a lot, it's a thoroughfare. So it was a trip. You know, Axel, came really fast. Like once my wife like got on the ground, like he was out quick.

[19:20:30] JONES: What did the doorman say?

MEYERS: We had two doormen. One of them like now feels like he is a member of the family. It has drawn a very close to us. And the other one can't make eye contact.

JONES: Still in they are pi.

MEYERS: Yes. I think he is working it out. It is already, you know, part of the building's DNA now and everybody is really excited about it. I think we will have to move when he is 12 years old. Because it would be like if another one of these people tell me they saw me born, another stranger tell me they were there.

JONES: Thinking as a dad, I just can't get out of my mind this whole separating of babies at the border from their parents. It just bothers me the idea that United States would take people running for their lives and rather than welcome them here, do the worst thing you could do.

As a dad, how do you think about this border crisis and what we are doing?

MEYERS: Stories like these are just gut wrenching. You know, my hope would be and I'm probably being overly optimistic, but you know, not only does this stop, but I think, you know, we have to remember that it hasn't been great for people crossing our borders in a long time in all the administrations and Democratic administrations. And you know, I would hope that we would look at this and say, God, this is so awful, you know. There is -- we have to pass laws that clarify exactly what our values mean when people come to this country for safe harbor.

JONES: This doesn't bring us together. I don't know what will. Neither party should be proud of what we are doing to babies.

You do have to look at all the tough stuff, all the bad news. Other people can turn it off. But you look at all the tough stuff every day, and yet somehow figure out a way to keep us laughing. Tell us how you continue to have the spirit to find the funny even in these times.

MEYERS: You know, I do still think there's a power we have when we laugh at something that means that we still have, we can still use joy to override anything negative that's coming toward us. I don't mean to laugh in something in way you just dismiss it and I think it doesn't have any value or meaning. But if you can point out how insane it all is, I think that helps keep you sane and keeps bringing you back. And that's what I'm, there's a strength to saying this isn't normal. Because if you don't, if you ignore it, if you take a few days off criticizing what the President does, I feel like maybe that means he wins and I don't want somebody to be so abnormal and have them win by us ignoring them.

JONES: Well, listen. You are doing a phenomenal service to the country. We appreciate it.

MEYERS: Thank you, you, too.

JONES: We got Seth Meyers on the VAN JONES SHOW.


JONES: I love it. Thank you.

"Late Night" airs weeknights at 12:35, 11:35 central on NBC. Please watch this brother. I love this brother.

And coming up, my exclusive interview with Kim Kardashian West. She is going to open up on her now famous oval office meeting with the President. Why she was moved to help a great grandmother who was serving a life sentence for drug conviction. And she is even going to talk about her marriage to Kanye West. You are going to learn more when we get back.



[19:27:27] JONES: Kim Kardashian West having emotional meeting with Alice Johnson, the great grandmother Kim helped to get out of prison. That video was from the "Today" show earlier the week. That was the first time those two had met. But Kim spent seven months working with the White House behind the scenes trying to get President Trump to grant clemency to Miss Johnson, who was facing a life sentence behind bars for a first time drug conviction.

There was a team of talented activists and lawyers, Topika Sam, Jessica Jackson Sloan, Brittney Barnett and others who have been working for years on Johnson's behalf. But there is no question that it was Kim who sealed the deal when she met with President Trump in the oval office.

I spoke with Kim about what whole case meant to her, how it moved her from being a reality TV star to a social justice activist. Take a look.


JONES: Well, first of all, congratulations on a big win, but also just thank you. Thank you.


JONES: Second of all, how did it feel to make the phone call to let Miss Alice Johnson know that it was over, she was coming home?

WEST: I think she thought it was a routine phone call with her attorneys. And she was surprised and excited that I was on the phone. And then I was a little bit shocked because she was very calm. And I had assumed she knew so I was like wait, she doesn't know? And Alice was like, know what? And I was like you are going home. Like I can like cry thinking about it.

Hearing her scream, just to know that like we changed one person's life, you know, is like we cried maybe on the phone for like three minutes straight. Like everyone was just crying. And then, I have to get it together.

JONES: That's all right. I understand. It's emotional. People understand.

WEST: I mean, I think people might think like oh, Kim went to the White House. Had this conversation. It was done. And that's it. This, I saw this seven months ago. And I have been daily phone calls with the White House. Maybe a dozen emails a day trying to get letters, letter from the warden. I mean, I have to give credit to where Alice's whole team has been working on this for years. So I do want to give credit where credit is due to everyone that has been working so hard on this for so long for her.

JONES: What was it about this case though that struck you so much? Why her? Because people are going to say, well look, there's thousands and thousands of people in prison, you know. What about my uncle? What about my stepson? What was it about this case that just grabbed you?

[19:30:00] WEST: Well, I do think there's something to I had happened to be on twitter and that exact moment and saw that come across my feed. That one of the people that I follow posted a story on her and I watched it and I just really felt for her. Because I felt like she is a good person. You can see that in her. That she lost her long time job. Got a divorce. Her son died. And just all of her everything was going to bad and she got desperate and had four other, you know, babies that she had to take care of and she was desperate and she made choices that I feel like honestly, you know, maybe not to that extreme, but when you are in a desperate situation, you will do what you have to do to take care of your kids. And I know that I would do anything for my kids and so I just felt this connection to her. Like instantly, that I just, I wanted to help her.

JONES: You have such a huge platform. You got Ivanka Trump's phone number. I mean, it must have felt like, hey listen. I have got to do something. But the meeting with President Trump, now that's a whole other level.

WEST: Yes.

JONES: How did that happen?

WEST: When I initially called Ivanka, I said I would love a meeting with your dad. And that took about six or seven months to get. And so once we got our, you know, the file really strong, we were able to plan a meeting and it happened to be on Alice's birthday. And that was the date they picked. And so I was like, OK, this is just all aligned. It's this is the stars are all in our favor today. I just feel that this is the right day to do it and --

JONES: So you go in.

WEST: We go in.

JONES: That's crazy. You got to know, for normal people, Kim Kardashian going into the Trump White House.

WEST: The west wing.

JONES: Oval office.

WEST: Yes. I have to say, I never get star struck. I was star struck over the oval office. Like that oval office is so powerful, I just, I literally had the take a second and take into account all in and just inside.

JONES: This is not a movie set.

WEST: Yes. Like it was, it really felt powerful. And felt like you can just feel the history in there.

JONES: So you have been, you know, tough on Trump at times.

WEST: Yes.

JONES: I mean, you are not a Republican. How did you handle that?

WEST: Well I think like for me, I was very focused. I knew that if I have this meeting, I can't go in there and talk about all the policies that I don't agree with. And I have always had just a very open dialogue with Jared about how I felt and have been even so honest to say look, Trump is the last person I thought that would have done this, but he did and he pulled through.

And so when I got the meeting, I knew there was going to be tons of backlash. I knew people wouldn't understand it. And at that point, I had to make the decision that this was bigger than me. That I, so I'm worried about my brand. It's like and a woman's been in jail for 22 years almost. That just to me, there was like it wasn't even a question. Like I would have taken the backlash no matter what the outcome would have been just to try for her. JONES: This is really amazing to hear you say that. I mean, you

didn't know her. Why did you feel that this was worth taking that kind of risk? A lot of celebrities to this day are scared to go and be in a picture with Donald Trump. A lot of athletes won't even go in the building. Why did you make a different choice?

WEST: And I do still respect their choice. I mean, everyone can do what they want to do. I never judge other people. And I do think sometimes situation are different, but I just am focused and I could separate my feelings on certain policies. To me, it wasn't about policies. It was about I can change someone's life and if I have the opportunity to do that, like it just wasn't even a question for me.

JONES: So just indulge me for a second. What did he say? What did you say? I mean, how does this, I mean, I want to see the movie in my head. I mean, did you get up, did he shake your hand, did he hug you? Did you salute him? I mean, give me some (INAUDIBLE) to work with.

WEST: I walk in. And you know, I had met him before, before he was the President a few times. So it was a hug. And sat down and he was like OK, so what's going on? He said well what are we here for? And I said, I'm here because I really want to know why you did kicked Khloe off "the Apprentice." It was a laugh and it was funny. And then we got into business.

And you know, he felt it. He was compassionate. He was sympathetic to her. He said you know, this is a really long time that she has been in here. Like this just isn't fair. He knew that this is the right thing to do.

[19:35:08] JONES: Of course, no good deed goes unpunished. So you go in here and you get this victory. Some people are very skeptical. All right.

WEST: Yes.

JONES: So they are like, I'm just going to throw them at you. You tell me who is right? Who is wrong?

WEST: Yes.

JONES: Number one, this whole thing is just a PR stunt for you. You are a master media person. And you know how to get media attention and it is just a way from you to get attention for yourself. True or false?

WEST: That's very false. I mean, I could literally walk outside and like it will be some ridiculous story.

JONES: (INAUDIBLE) media attention. You don't have to do anything extra to get it?

WEST: No. I mean, I think these days, I'm trying to dodge it and stay away from it.

JONES: Got you. Number two. Trump is using you as political pawn so now you are sort of, you have endorsed him in a way. You are kind of giving him legitimacy. You might be in a campaign video. He used you.

WEST: I think Kanye has already given him legitimacy, so I don't, you know, in that way. So I was working on this before. So I don't -- like for being, I don't think I would be used. You know, and at the end of the day, he heard me out. We got the job done. So I don't think like what could he really use me for?

JONES: And when you say Kanye give in to this, what do you mean?

WEST: I mean, Kanye came out, cosigned and said he loves his personality and loves him. So I just, if you had got that, he's trying to use me, like how? Because he already kind of got you know, a big thing, you know, from Kanye I think.


WEST: I also saw people like, well, why don't you talk to him about this and about, you know, immigration and so many other things that I care about? But I just have to stay focused. And I have to know that if there's the only person in the world that could have done this for her, why wouldn't I go talk to that person if I had the opportunity to? Forget about my fears. Forget about my life. That was the right thing to do.



JONES: Now Kim says her work is not done. Up next, we are going to hear from her about how she plans to stay involved with the fight and continue working to make more good things happen and wait until you hear what she says about the possibility of running for office herself one day. And I will give you a hint. It's not a definite no way. That's next.



[19:41:38] JONES: Welcome back to the VAN JONES SHOW.

Kim Kardashian West is celebrating helping to free Alice Johnson from prison. But don't expect us to be one and done. I spoke with Kim about her future involvement in criminal justice reform and in politics. Here's what she had to say.


JONES: Let's talk about the future because, you know, this isn't the first political thing you have done. I mean, you have spoken out on Armenian issues. You have engaged a little bit with Planned Parenthood. Some of the gun safety stuff.

WEST: That is something I ask like behind the scenes, not to the President. But you know? What's going on is the conversation of the Armenian genocide that is being recognized ever going to happen and you know. So yes, there's things that I do care about and things that I want to know and things I would love to be more involved. Just seeing this success was I think gives the whole team hope.


WEST: And if we -- if I can be used as a vessel and they could all use me, they can use me. You know, but the attorneys. They can, I think everyone on the, on that side knows that, that I'm -- we are all in it together. And we just all have the same goal. And if I am the voice that goes in and tries to, I mean there's over 3,000 people in the same exact situation as Alice. And it's not that -- it just so happened to be that Alice was on my screen at that moment at that time when I was on, but it doesn't mean that we are going to stop here.

JONES: What have you learned in this past six months, seven months that make you say I want to keep doing this. Because some people will say, listen. One and done. You got a victory, walk away. You are saying got a victory, I want more.

WEST: I told Sean, the attorney, I was like can we start a firm? Like let's do this. And like just get the best people together. If I could just be the vessel, I'm, I could bring awareness.

JONES: Your dad was a lawyer.

WEST: Yes.

JONES: Is this in your blood?

WEST: I really think that it is. Anyone that knows me, like my whole other team of attorneys, every time I go in there, I'm like if there wasn't the long college process, I would be an attorney. But I just research that in the state of California, I could assist an attorney for three years and just take the bar.

JONES: You will be bar illegible.

WEST: Yes. So you never know.

JONES: This could go. Now once you get the law degree, people are going to say would you ever run for office?

WEST: Oh, I don't think that's even on my mind.

JONES: Trump is president. It could happen.

WEST: I know. That's why Kanye loves him. It's the idea that anything can happen.

JONES: So could anything happen with --

WEST: I guess never say never, but that's not going to be like Kim is running. That's not where I'm, what I'm going for. I just want to help starting one person at a time. And I think sometimes if more people would just put their personal feelings aside and talk about really important issues that have to be discussed, then so much more can get done.

JONES: You know, politics is rough. I mean, I know being a celebrity is rough, but D.C. is really rough. Are you sure you want to stick your fork in that socket again? I mean, you could walk away. Nobody (INAUDIBLE).

[19:45:01] WEST: Yes. I am never going to claim to be the most political person. But I know that I had a feeling inside when I helped someone. And just seeing the videos, I mean, I was crying watching the videos and seeing her just be reunited with her family.

JONES: That video.

WEST: That video.

JONES: You know, you sound like a mama bear now. Is being a mom and having these three little people in your life, is that affecting the way you want to use your platform anyway? I don't know. Feels that way.

WEST: Absolutely. I mean, I think I'm always going to be me. And I always will do things that make me feel good about myself or live my life or film my show and you know whether just I'll still always be me, but there's a new side of me. I think just like past life experiences becoming a mom, situations that I have been in that have really changed me. I think I have realized that I can't just, if I have this platform, it would honestly be such waste if I didn't use it to change someone's life.

JONES: Yes. You talk about redemption and second chance. In some ways, you are fighting to give her a second chance but then people try and stuff about your past on you. I think you are in a position now to give maybe advice to folks because you have come under a lot of fire. You keep on keeping on. Keep on achieving things. How do you do that? I mean, do you pray? Do you have a therapist? I mean, yoga? I mean, how can people kind of follow what you are doing because it's hard out here? People have --

WEST: It really is. Yes. And I feel like the last few weeks in my life have been really, really hectic. And I feel like we were -- it was in the last stages and I felt like it was happening and I had anxiety. And I just like never really do. And I just, I got an app that was like a calming app. And I was just like searching and I just like took my time-out to take a deep breath and just do that a few times and really like get it together.

But I also to me, the negativity, I mean sometimes it does wear you down. But to me, it always pushes me through. And I always want to I don't know if it's on purpose or not, but I always want to prove those people wrong. And I always go into a situation thinking of like the best case scenario and always thinking of the worst case scenario, but always trying to get that best case. No matter what it is. No matter, you know -- but there are times when it's a lot. When there's just so many eyeballs on you and there's so much attention, positive and negative. Both can like one can like fill your head up too much. One can tear your spirit down. And it's like just sometimes you have to tune it all out. Just take a deep breath. I don't have a therapist. But you know, I have a really good supportive family and I think that we are kind of each's therapists.



JONES: Now, you may have heard a little bit about some controversy that was sort of stirred up by Kim's husband, Kanye West recently. I talked to Kim about their relationship and about how she handles those situations when we get back.



[19:51:58] JONES: Welcome back to the VAN JONES SHOW.

OK. The only person who makes as many headlines as Kim Kardashian West is her husband Kanye West. Especially when he makes controversial comments expressing support for our very polarizing President and other topics.

I spoke to Kim about her marriage to the often provocative musical art worst she shares her life with and family with. Take a look at what she has to say.


JONES: You are married to a creative genius. And a lot of us have creative folks in our lives and get themselves in trouble and that kind of stuff.

WEST: Yes.

JONES: As a partner of a creative genius who sometimes gets himself in trouble.

WEST: Yes.

JONES: What do you think the most important thing you can do in that relationship to be supportive, to keep that --?

WEST: Yes. I think just being that support system. You know? Even if you don't see eye to eye and there's a lot going on. I think always being real and always -- like we have, like, really good communication. So we always, no matter what it is, if I agree, if I don't agree, I'm always there. And I think he knows that.

And, you know, it is tough when there's so -- everything is so public. And, you know, especially even album time and staying up and helping, you know, just trying to get it done and helping that person get their creative ideas out, I think that is just really important. It's just to be supportive. Doesn't mean you agree with everything. But it means that you are supportive and you are there to talk them through their situations and just I love him, you know. So it's just -- it's kind of a no-brainer for me just to be there.

JONES: I think about the journey you are on now. I mean, you have 120 million Instagram followers. I mean, that's bigger than most countries, I think. I mean, 60 million twitter followers. I mean, you do have the ability to make a big impact. Now some people will say, listen, you know, I'm still not convinced. Just give people one more opportunity to understand that people grow and change.

WEST: Yes, I mean, I have just been through so much in my life that just, it would -- I guess that whole, like, lifestyle of me of like being shallow and cars and stuff that we have, you know, who we were and that's just not who I am today. And it doesn't mean that I don't like, you know, a flashy photo shoot. And, you know, I made a joke, I got this influencer award for fashion and I made a joke like, I'm always naked, how did I win this award for fashion, you know.

And, hey, that's a part of me too. But this is a new part of me. And it doesn't mean that all of that other stuff has to go away and I'm this political person and I'm, you know -- I am me and I care about people and I want to use my platform to help other people. It's not always about me.

[19:55:09] JONES: Well, you are off to a tremendous start, I'll tell you that.

WEST: Thank you. I really appreciate that. Thank you.



JONES: Thank you, Kim Kardashian West.

Look, I think she is proof of just the transformative power of becoming a parent, frankly. And speaking as a parent on the eve of father's day tomorrow, I just want to come back to this crisis on our border.

You know, I just cannot imagine somebody taking away my children from me. Me not knowing where they are, not knowing how they are doing. They can't contact me. They don't know what is going on. I can't -- I just can't imagine.

Listen, if any of us were on the run and we had to flee our country and we wound up in a country seeking refuge and we started getting treated like that, we would hope that the whole world would stand up and scream and stay stop abusing these babies, stop doing this, it's wrong. And that's exactly what America should be doing right now. Right now, let's stop mistreating these children.

I'm Van Jones. This is the VAN JONES SHOW. Peace and love for one another.

See you next time. (APPLAUSE)