Obama Administration's Van Jones Resigns By Choice
The Obama administration's "Green Jobs" advisor, Van Jones, resigned amidst controversy surrounding a petition he signed regarding U.S. government involvement in the Sept.11 terrorist attacks.
In addition to the dissension behind the petition, Jones has faced a firestorm of criticism for a remark he made about Republicans before he took the White House position, which was captured on video and alter circulated on the internet.
While there is suspicion that he was asked to resign, White House officials say it was his own decision.
"Absolutely not -- this was Van Jones' own decision," David Axelrod told NBC's
"Meet the Press" when asked if the president had ordered the resignation.
Minke Pence, Republican Rep. of Indiana called for Jones' resignation or that he be fired.
"I think Van Jones did the right thing," Pence said Sunday about the resignation. "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration."
Jones has been labeled the "green jobs czar" for the Obama administration.
"The president should suspend any future appointment of so called czars while the administration and the Congress carefully examines the background and qualifications of the more than 30 individuals who've been appointed to these czar positions," said Pence, speaking to reporters. "And the Congress ought to initiate a thorough inquiry into the constitutionality of this practice which has spanned Republican and Democrat administrations."
"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said at the White House Saturday night. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."
According to CNN, Jones maintains he came to Washington to "fight for others, not for myself," Jones said in the statement, "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 resignation come after it was discovered that he signed a petition in 2004 which called for an investigation into the notion that the government purposely allowed the Sept. 11 attacks to take place.
In a statement last week, Jones said of the petition on the Web site 911truth.org:"I do not agree with this statement and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever."
Jones was under fire last week for a statement he made about Republicans, in which he called them "assholes."
In his statement last week, Jones said, "If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologize."