Van Jones, a political analyst for the left-leaning CNN, complimented Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday for his “very smart” response to billionaire Elon Musk’s tweets.

Co-anchors Brianna Keilar and John Berman wrapped up their panel conversation with Jones on CNN’s New Day on Thursday morning by questioning him about DeSantis’ reaction when asked about Musk’s probable support in the 2024 election.

Here’s what DeSantis said at a news conference, drawing some laughter from the crowd:

“So what would I say, you know, I’m focused on 2022, but with Elon Musk, what I would say is, you know, I welcome the support of African-Americans. What can I say?”

All were clearly delighted by DeSantis’ remark, and Jones complimented the “extremely brilliant” incident as an example of a lesson learned from DeSantis’s probable 2024 opponent, former President Donald Trump:

“Again, people assume that everyone from Africa is black,” Jones said. “Elon Musk is a white South African who came to the United States, so he’s teasing.”

But what he’s really doing is keeping that story in the news cycle. This guy is very, very smart about getting us to talk about him, DeSantis,” Jones said. “And when the richest man in the world says something about you and then you say something funny, his name remains in the news cycle. This man has learned a lot from Donald Trump.”

Here’s the transcript of the exchange:

BRIANNA KEILAR: The most interesting rivalry is shaping up on the right when it comes to a potential 2024 race between former President Trump and current governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. Ron DeSantis just had an interesting moment where billionaire Elon Musk talked about potentially supporting him for president, and this is how DeSantis responded.

GOV. DESANTIS: (video clip) Elon Musk. So what I would say, you know, I’m focused on 2022. But with Elon Musk, what I would say is, you know, I welcome support from African-Americans. What can I say?

BRIANNA KEILAR: That might have gone over the head of some people. But he was, is from South Africa.

VAN JONES: Yeah. People, again, people assume that everybody from Africa is Black. Elon Musk is a white South African who came to United States. So he’s, he’s kind of teasing. But what he’s really doing is keeping that story in the news cycle. This guy is very, very smart about keeping us talking about him, DeSantis. And when the richest guy in the world says something about you and then you say something funny, it keeps his name in the news cycle. This guy’s learned a lot from Donald Trump.

JOHN BERMAN: It’s exactly what I thought when I saw that, right? There. Very interesting. Van Jones, great to have you here.

Sources: Conservativebrief, Ussanews, Theworldnews

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