CNN host breaks down on air over Donald Trump defeat

Nick Whigham
·Assistant News Editor
·4-min read

Emotion is bubbling over in a historic day for the United States after the biggest voter turnout in history is set to remove Donald Trump from the office of the president.

On both sides of the political divide, emotions are running high with jubilant scenes erupting in cities across the nation while some Trump supporters still cling to unfounded claims of election malfeasance.

CNN anchor Van Jones was unable to contain his emotions about what the Joe Biden victory means for him as a Black man and as a father.

Jones, who does not shy away from showing emotion on air at times, eschewed any pretence of contrived balance and called a spade a spade.

Simply put: “It’s a good day”.

CNN host Van Jones seen crying.
CNN host Van Jones broke down with emotion on air as the election was finally projected. Source: Getty

“Well it’s easier to be a parent this morning, it’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids that character matters,” he said as he welled up.

“It matters. Tell them the truth matters. Being a good person matters.”

As he wiped away tears, he acknowledged what the rejection of Donald Trump by a majority of voters will mean for people of colour and immigrants.

“And it’s easier for a whole lot of people. If you’re a Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry that the president doesn’t want you here.

“If you’re an immigrant you don’t have to worry that the president is going to be happier to have babies snatched away from you,” he said, referring to the separation of children and their parents who crossed the country’s southern border.

“This is vindication for a whole lot of people who have really suffered,” he said.

After months of protest and civil unrest following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers, Jones said the demise of Trump will go some small way to giving hope of systemic reform.

At the very least, from January 20, the country will no longer have a president who repeatedly refused to condemn white supremacist groups.

“There was a lot of people who felt they couldn’t breathe ... You go to the store and people who have been afraid to show their racism have been getting nastier and nastier to you.

“And you’re worried about your kids and you’re worried about your sister. You spend so much of your life’s energy just trying to hold it together,” he said.

“This is a big deal. Just for us to be able to get some peace. And have a chance for reset.

“This is a good day for the country.

“I’m sorry for the people who lost, for them it’s not a good day. But for a whole lot of people, it’s a good day.”

Emotional clip goes around the world

The rather visceral TV moment has gone viral online and been played on radio and TV networks around the globe.

Former first lady Michelle Obama was among the many online to show support and solidarity for the CNN anchor and his emotional message.

“Van, thank you for expressing the sorrow and relief that we all feel,” Ms Obama said.

“My hope is that those who hoped for a different outcome will take a moment to empathise with the pain so many of us have felt over the past four years.”

Veteran ABC journalist Barrie Cassidy also applauded the raw monologue.

“Anybody thinking of writing an analysis of this election. Forget about it. This guy has covered all bases,” he said.

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