Van Jones, President Obama’s green jobs “czar” and best-selling author of “The Green Collar Economy,” announced his resignation late Saturday.
“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said in a statement announcing his resignation just after midnight Saturday. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.”
He continued: “I have been inundated with calls — from across the political spectrum — urging me to ‘stay and fight.’ But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.”
Jones was targeted by Fox News’ Glenn Beck, who described Jones as a “former black nationalist” and a “self-avowed communist.” Jones faced increasing pressure to step down after conservative blogger Gateway Pundit found Jones among the signatories of a petition calling for an investigation into whether the Bush administration deliberately failed to act to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
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