Alice Marie Johnson responds to Politico tweet: ‘I’m not a prop’
Republican Nation Convention speaker Alice Marie Johnson, a 65-year-old Black woman whose prison sentence was commuted by President Trump, said Friday she is not “a prop” in response to a tweet from Politico.
“What amazes me about the things that are being said is that another former prisoner spoke at the [Democratic National Convention] last week, and she was not called a prop for choosing to speak there, yet I don’t have the choice to speak where I want to,” Johnson said during an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
“I’m not a prop, and I’m not a puppet. I make my own choices as to what I’d like to do,” Johnson added later.
Johnson, who spoke Thursday night at the GOP convention, had her prison sentence commuted by Trump in June 2018 after 21 years in prison.
Johnson was convicted of drug conspiracy and money laundering in 1996. Her case was first brought to the president’s attention by reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, who is also a prominent prison reform activist.
The president also invited Johnson to his February State of the Union address. She received a standing ovation after Trump shared her story and commutation.
Politico tweeted Thursday night following Johnson’s address to note that she has been a key figure in Trump’s criminal justice reform push, while adding that “she’s been propped up as one of the most prominent beneficiaries of the terms of the First Step Act.”
The text for the tweet was taken from a reporter live chat on the outlet’s website.
Alice Johnson, a key player in Trump’s criminal justice reform push, delivered her RNC address tonight.
She’s been propped up as one of the most prominent beneficiaries of the terms of the First Step Act. Kim Kardashian played a role in her prison releasehttps://t.co/tPyezt8iQP
— POLITICO (@politico) August 28, 2020
The tweet drew blowback on social media:
Propped up? What does that mean? https://t.co/HQoPSU982U
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) August 28, 2020
This is a disgusting racist headline. https://t.co/KJwE6CMOGJ
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) August 28, 2020
.@Politico‘s bitter and desperate partisanship on full display today.
Alice Johnson is no one’s prop.
How dare you disrespect this amazing and powerful woman.
You reveal yourselves in your derision.
How petty, small, and pathetic you are. https://t.co/IIHNCErj78
— Nan Hayworth, M.D. (@NanHayworth) August 28, 2020
Propped up by pouncing Republicans, no doubt. https://t.co/1EzBmt5aQn
— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) August 28, 2020
Politico did not immediately provide a comment to The Hill.