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Vernon Jones, the Georgia Democratic representative who spoke at the Republican National Convention (RNC) Monday on behalf of President Trump, is calling on Democrats in Congress to open hearings on the unrest that's been gripping American cities.
Jones spoke with Fox News on Friday, following his experience being surrounded by an angry crowd as he left the White House after President Trump's RNC speech Thursday night. The crowd, which was held at bay by a handful of police officers shouting "move back" and forming a protective barrier around Jones, hurled insults including ugly racial slurs.
"Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and the entire DNC and Congress and all the state heads and chairs of Democratic parties, they need to come out and denounce this hatred, this vitriol, condemn Black Lives Matter and then Antifa," Jones, who is Black, told Fox News. "Congress should hold hearings … and hear testimonies from those of us who are being attacked. It should also do a thorough investigation to see who's funding … these professional domestic terrorists, and they should be held accountable."
Jones did not provide evidence that the people who hounded him and those who are looting and vandalizing cities across the U.S. are being paid by a third party, but his allegation is similar to one made by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Friday morning on "Fox & Friends." Paul was also escorted on his way out of the White House Thursday night, with police standing between him and crowds attempting to get at him and his wife, all while shouting for Paul, one of the top proponents of criminal justice reform in Congress, to support criminal justice reform.
"I believe there are going to be people who are involved with the attack on us that actually were paid to come here, are not from Washington, D.C., and are sort of paid to be anarchists," Paul said. "This is disturbing because really, if you're inciting a riot that's a crime, but if you're paying someone to incite a riot that person needs to go to jail as well."
Paul called for the FBI to make arrests. Jones, meanwhile, said that Congress should make it a hate crime to attack somebody based on their political beliefs.
"Congress should also pass immediately, to include in the federal hate crime law, that it becomes a hate crime when someone assaults you based on your political ideology and party affiliation," Jones said. "Let's start prosecuting these people for hate crimes."
Jones added, referring to the people claiming the Black Lives Matter mantle: "What it showed to me is that Black lives don't matter because I am a Black person, I am a Black life, so the hypocrisy that Black Lives Matter showed me right there, and verified and validated what I'd already been saying, is that Black lives don't matter."
Jones is a highly controversial figure who's been thrust into the national spotlight thanks to his support for Trump. His liberal credentials have been questioned by fellow Democrats in recent weeks. He voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and had images of Robert E. Lee in his office, the Savannah Morning News reported.
The lawmaker responded to the criticisms in his interview with Fox News.
"This is not about voting because the same thing could happen to any one of them, Black or Democrat. Doesn't matter. This is about peoples' First Amendment. And this is about citizens' safety. Every citizen's safety," Jones told Fox News. "And it shouldn't be a litmus test that if you fail to support a particular candidate or party that you're not safe on the streets of America."
He added: "And last I checked I am a Democrat."
SEN. RAND PAUL THANKS DC COPS FOR SAVING HIM FROM 'CRAZED MOB' AFTER RNC
Jones also addressed several other issues in his wide-ranging discussion with Fox News, including the recent boycotts by professional athletes, including in the NBA, which canceled several of its recent playoff games to protest police brutality.
"Where are the athletes boycotting a game for all of us who've been under attack by these mobs, that are members of the Black Lives Matter?" Jones said. "So, now Black life doesn't matter to the sports world?"
"Where is LeBron James calling out those terrorists last night?" Jones added.
Jones also slammed members of the media describing the unrest and the scene in Washington as peaceful: "It wasn't peaceful for me. It wasn't peaceful for Sen. Rand Paul."
Jones further defended Trump's record, saying that if the crowds were listening to Trump's remarks they would learn about things like prison reform, school choice, jobs and funding for HBCU's.
In another takeaway from his experience, Jones thanked the police officers for keeping the crowd at bay.
"I applaud those men and women, both Black and White, who really put their lives on the line to protect me," Jones said. "When they talk about defunding the police department, that was a prime example. Because they were undermanned by that mob. And that's what it was, a mob. But they held the line and they used their bicycles and their courage to protect me. I'll never forget them. I owe them a debt of gratitude. I owe all law enforcement officers across this country a debt of gratitude for standing up protecting those very folks, including Democrats, who failed to protect police officers."
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