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Alice Marie Johnson, the 63-year-old grandmother pardoned by President Donald Trump, blasted a Politico tweet claiming that she was “propped up” at the Republican National Convention.
“Alice Johnson, a key player in Trump’s criminal justice reform push, delivered her RNC address tonight,” the tweet noted. “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 release.”
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
“This headline removes agency from Alice in a way that is extremely uncomfortable and bizarre,” wrote Erielle Davidson, a senior policy analyst at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.
This headline removes agency from Alice in a way that is extremely uncomfortable and bizarre. https://t.co/9uPTWNk0Zt
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) August 28, 2020
“You deserve this ratio @politico for this extremely bigoted and condescending headline. This woman isn’t being ‘propped up’ she’s actively championing a criminal justice reform bill which freed her from a life sentence,” veteran and former congressional candidate Chris Manning added.
President Trump commuted Johnson’s life sentence for her 1996 conviction on drug conspiracy and money laundering charges.
Asked by Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhart if she feels like a “prop” for the president and the Republican Party, Johnson said, “No.”
“What amazes me about the things that are being said is that another former prisoner spoke at the DNC [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.
“I’m a person who was very honored to be [at the RNC] last night,” Johnson, who served about 22 years behind bars, said, adding that the characterization by Left-leaning Politico is “a double standard.”
Earhart also asked Johnson to comment on Democrat and Leftist criticism of Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina who question his “blackness” because he’s affiliated with the GOP.
“Both Tim Scott and I were both born black and we’re going to die black,” she said. “We are exercising our choice, and our right, and our freedom to use our minds.
“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.
Earlier, Johnson said a number of people were moved to tears by her RNC speech, Fox News reported. Meanwhile, others ripped Politico for its “racist headline.”
In fact, President Trump did not sign the First Step Act until about six months after he commuted Johnson’s sentence after her case was brought to his attention by Kardashian.
“I am free,” Johnson said during the interview, adding: “I was in a very dark place, a very dark hopeless situation but I’d never lost my hope, and instead of turning inward, and being bitter about my situation, I decided to help the women who were there and not just myself but what I could do for others.”
Currently, Johnson serves as a senior fellow Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Crime initiative and has become a published author.
She has said that her life is committed to pushing “for criminal justice reform and for the women and men who are still incarcerated.”
She also told Earhart that there are many people serving behind bars who deserve the same kind of second chance that she has been given.
In 2019, President Trump invited Johnson to attend his State of the Union Address. She received a standing ovation.
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