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WATCH: MSNBC Host Ends Interview After Pro-Trump Democratic Lawmaker Blasts Him For Suggesting That He’s Getting Paid To Support Trump
Frank Ski, Tanya Ski and Vernon Jones during Frank Ski Kids Foundation "Score and Pour" Fundraiser at Private Residence in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
Getty Images: Frank Mullen/WireImage

Georgia Democratic State Rep. Vernon Jones slammed MSNBC host Craig Melvin on Wednesday after Melvin asked Jones if the reason that he supported President Donald Trump was because he was being paid.

“Are you a paid campaign surrogate?” Melvin asked. “Are you being compensated?”

“Let me be clear. You get paid to shape a liberal narrative. You get paid to attack this president,” Jones fired back. “I don’t get a dime for this president. I don’t get a dime from the campaign. Everything I’ve done has been me and based on my principles.”

“And see, that’s the problem, when an African American that’s an [elected official]–” Jones continued before Melvin cut him off.

“Sir, I did not raise your race,” Melvin said as the bickering intensified.

“Let me finish now,” Jones said. “Let me finish.”

“No, no, wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Melvin continued to interrupt. “You’re not going to imply that I asked that question because you’re black.”

“You don’t ask Stacey Abrams if she’s getting paid from the Left,” Jones shot back. “So don’t ask me that. You only ask me that because I don’t fit your narrative. You know, this president has never offered me anything. I don’t want anything from this president. It’s what I can do for my country, and you need to accept that many other African Americans and others support this president because of his policies. And to insult me to say am I getting paid, that is disgraceful. That is horrible.”

“I have asked the same question of Democrats who have come on,” Melvin claimed without citing any examples.

“That’s representative of MSNBC and their narrative to keep blacks silent who happen to support this president,” Jones added. “Why can’t I be like white liberals or other whites? Nobody questions if they’re getting paid.”

“So, I have to get paid?” Jones continued. “Do you ask Democrats, do they get paid? Look at [who’s getting] paid by Joe Biden.”

“I just said to you, I have,” Melvin responded.

“Have you ever asked any host on your show if they’ve been paid by Joe Biden?” Jones continued. “I haven’t heard it.”

“State representative Vernon Jones,” Melvin said before quickly ending the interview. “Representative Jones, thank you.”


Fox News reported that earlier this year, Melvin asked South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott if the Republican Party was “using” him as a “token” on racial issues in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

“You have faced a fair amount of criticism, especially over the past few days, because you are the only black Republican senator,” Melvin said during an interview. “Some have said that your party is using you, they’ve even thrown around the word ‘token,’ as well. Your response to that criticism?”

“Well, I am also the only person in my conference who has been racially profiled driving while black,” Scott said. “I’m the only one in my conference that’s been stopped seven times in one year as an elected official, perhaps the only one in my conference wearing this Senate pin that was stopped from coming into the building. So if there’s someone in the conference who understands discrimination and profiling, it’s me. It’s the reason why I asked to lead this charge, because it is a personal issue, it is the right issue. And frankly, I think it helps to have someone who’s been a victim of this situation and who still has a tremendous respect for where our country can go together.”

Scott continued, “So I shrug those comments and criticisms off. But you’ve got to know, when you’re a black Republican, you’re like a unicorn. People are going to criticize you when you wake up, when you go to sleep, if you say you like apple pie and football, there’s a lot of critics for that, too. So God bless their souls.”

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