Van Jones and Kim Kardashian
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Van Jones Credits Kim Kardashian With Passage Of Criminal Justice Bill

Political commentator Van Jones credits the reality TV star for ushering in a major step forward in the fight for criminal justice reform.

Who would have thought that Kim Kardashian-West would be on the forefront of criminal justic reform in America? That would be political commentator Van Jones, who credits the reality TV maven for ushering in a major step forward in the fight for criminal justice reform.

Like many on Capitol Hill and in the rest of U.S., Jones is celebrating Wednesday's (Dec. 18) passage of the First Step Act, which the Senate voted on 87-12. While the bipartisan bill will be reviewed by the House at a later date, ultimately it will reportedly help "decrease recidivism rates among federal prisoners who make up a reported 10 percent of America's prison population."

Jones, who has been actively lobbying for the bill's passage, tips his hat to Kardashian and credits her for this major leap of progress. He says that the First Step Act wouldn't have been passed if she hadn't channeled her star power into the cause, and urges doubters of her impact and influence to "look at the scoreboard now."

"If Kim Kardashian had not gone to the White House and talked to Donald Trump, we would not have passed this bill," Jones told TMZ. "We would not have 50,000 people fewer in federal prisons because of this bill, 100 percent of people who are locked up in the federal prisons can come home a little bit earlier if they stay out of trouble, 50 percent of them can come home a lot earlier if they work hard, 100 percent of women are not going to be shackled and mistreated. Why? Because Kim Kardashian was willing to put her celebrity on the line for people she didn't even know."

Hear all of Jones' glowing praise of Mrs. Kardashian-West below.

READ MORE: Senate Passes Criminal Justice Bill Benefitting Federal Prisoners

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Sean Gallup

Obama Congratulates Woman He Pardoned For Making The Dean's List

When Danielle Metz was 26 years old, she received three life sentences plus another 20 years for drug-related offenses stemming from her husband's cocaine trafficking ring.

Prior to Barack Obama leaving office, he granted clemency to hundreds of men and women behind bars most for non-violent drug-related offenses. Metz was one of the many individuals given a second chance.

A nonprofit-news organization The Hechinger Report reported on Metz since her release, and after being granted clemency, she enrolled in Southern University where she's studying social work. She finished her freshman year with a 3.75 GPA landing her on the Dean's List.

Speaking to The Hechinger Report, Metz attributed her success to the former president."You don't know what you did for me. I'm finally coming into my own. I made the honor roll," Metz said.

Obama got wind of Metz accomplishment and penned a handwritten letter to her congratulating her on success.

"I am so proud of you, and am confident that your example will have a positive impact for others who are looking for a second chance," Obama wrote."Tell your children I say hello, and know that I'm rooting for all of you."

Exciting coda to my @USATODAY / @hechingerreport story about a New Orleans woman going to college after spending half her life in prison: @BarackObama sent her a letter this week! pic.twitter.com/1brbEgaymW

— Casey Parks (@caseyparks) July 11, 2019

Congrats to Metz on her success.

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Alex Wong

Donald Trump Thinks The "Radical Left Congresswomen" Should Apologize

After meriting the ire of Democratic lawmakers for racist comments directed at four freshmen congresswomen of color, Donald Trump took to Twitter Monday morning (July 15) to add more fuel to the already blazing fire.

"When will the radical left congresswomen apologize to our country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said," Trump tweeted."So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!"

The president continued: "If Democrats want to unite around the foul language and racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular and unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S."

Sunday evening (July 14) on the same day Trump announced Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers would conduct raids to remove 2,000 immigrants, the president took to Twitter to blast the four female congresswomen, affectionately known as "The Squad." and instructed them to "go back to your country.

While Trump never named names, representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna S. Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Oman were his intended targets. The only congresswoman who wasn't born in the United States is Omar who fled Somalia and immigrated to the U.S. when she was 12. Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Trump's attack on the four Democratic congresswomen came in the midst of a feud between the progressive Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Yet despite Pelosi's comments about the freshman congresswoman, she condemned Trump's tweet's calling them "xenophobic" and part of a larger, not so covert plan.

"When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again."

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Alex Wong

Trump Tells Progressive Congresswomen "To Go Back" To Where "They Originally Came From"

On Sunday (July 14) the day Donald Trump announced Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers would detain migrant families in 10 major U.S. cities, the president took to Twitter to tell certain progressive Democrats to return to their country of origin.

"So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run," Trump tweeted.

"Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!"

While Trump didn't name names, it can be assumed he's speaking of Democratic Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latin-American woman born and raised in The Bronx; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, a black woman born in Cincinnati; Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American from Detroit, Michigan and representative Ilhan Omar is a Somali born refugee who moved to the United States when she was 12 and became a naturalized citizen.

Trump's tweets were condemned by many, including by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who affirmed they only underscore his "Make America Great Again” slogan has an alternative meaning.

"When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again," Pelosi tweeted. I reject @realDonaldTrump’s xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation. Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values. Stop the raids - #FamiliesBelongTogether!"

Pelosi's public defense of the four Freshman congresswomen comes after disparaging comments made in Maureen Dowd's New York Times op-ed about the freshman four. "All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”

Ocasio-Cortez later responded by calling the statements "just outright disrespectful."

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