CNN's Van Jones tore into President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE's proposal to sentence some drug traffickers to the death penalty.
"Nobody on the ground is saying, 'what we really need is the death penalty for drug dealers. What we really need is tougher, harsher sentences,'" Jones said on CNN late Monday, noting he has met with sheriffs and pastors in the past.
"I don't know where he's getting that stuff. That is 180 degrees from what the people on the ground are saying."
Jones said people he's talked to are saying drug dealers need more help, compassion and education.
"Sometimes they see they need better Bible studies. That would be higher on the list than death penalty for drug dealers," Jones said.
"This death penalty thing is a complete non-starter," he continued.
"It's divisive and it's stupid and I think it's an offense to the people who are really trying to solve this problem."
Trump earlier Monday spoke in New Hampshire about his plans to combat the opioid epidemic.
“If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we’re wasting our time,” said Trump, who has praised other countries’ use of the death penalty for drug traffickers for weeks.
His plan to seek stiffer penalties for high-volume drug traffickers includes a mandate to the Department of Justice to seek the death penalty when appropriate under current law.
A Justice Department official wrote in an email that "under current law, the federal death penalty is available for several limited drug-related offenses."