Trump offers rare praise of media on criminal justice reform

President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE on Monday offered rare praise for the news media for covering the story of Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence for drug trafficking was commuted by Trump.

During a White House event celebrating a criminal-justice overhaul that Trump signed, Johnson said she wanted to thank the media for having “magnified my story.”


Trump leaned over and jokingly asked Johnson “are you sure” as attendees laughed and applauded. The president noted Johnson’s comment after she was done speaking.

“Alice said ‘I want to thank the media.’ I sort of bent over and said, ‘are you sure?’ And I do too. I think it’s fantastic. That’s great,” the president said.

Trump also thanked Van Jones, a former Obama administration official who co-founded the group #cut50 that advocated for the sentencing-reform law.

Johnson was released from prison last year after reality TV star Kim Kardashian personally asked Trump during an Oval Office meeting to grant her clemency. The 63-year-old woman was one of the president’s guests at this year’s State of the Union address.