Van Jones resigns

One of Barack Obama's key advisers on "green jobs" steps down amid controversy over his past political activities

Van Jones, one of the top advisers to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, abruptly quit his post late Saturday, leaving U.S. President Barack Obama’s push to create “green jobs” in limbo. Jones had recently come under fire from conservatives in the U.S. for having signed a petition that questioned whether President George W. Bush’s administration “may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war,” as well as for having used a derogatory term to describe Republicans in a speech dating back to before his time in the Obama administration. Jones had apologized for both incidents, but his involvement in two other controversial movements—Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), a Bay area organization with Marxist roots, and the campaign to free death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal—proved to be too much of a distraction. In a written statement, Jones criticized his political opponents for mounting “a vicious smear campaign” against him, but said he could not “in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past.”

Washington Post