In a tweet that earned him both praise and a good amount of backlash, actor Isaiah Washington made a rare break from his fellow liberals in Hollywood by slamming former President Barack Obama and praising President Donald Trump’s efforts to pass criminal justice reform.
“I voted for 44 twice. I even checked my emails in his Senate Office while lobbying for Salone to be given another chance to rebrand,” Washington said. “Not once in 8 years was I given any support regarding Africa or the Black Agenda, but 45 invites me to the WH to celebrate the #FirstStepAct.”
I voted for 44 twice. I even checked my emails in his Senate Office while lobbying for Salone to be given another chance to rebrand. Not once in 8 years was I given any support regarding Africa or the Black Agenda, but 45 invites me to the WH to celebrate the #FirstStepAct 🤷🏾♂️— Isaiah Washington (@IWashington) April 1, 2019
The actor, who's starred in a bevy of Spike Lee films as well as ABC's Grey's Anatomy, added he'll "work with anyone" to pass measures he believes in, regardless of their political party.
Those who know, know that I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I will work w/h anyone as long as things get done. The #FirstStepAct was passed on December 21, 2018 w/h the hard work of @JessyMichele @LouislReed @VanJones68 and @cut_50 I’m proud to stand with them all today. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Y1yTIs088g— Isaiah Washington (@IWashington) April 1, 2019
The bipartisan First Step Act,passed by Congress last year and signed by President Trump, frees upjudges to show more leniency when sentencing some non-violent drug offenders while bolstering prisoner rehabilitation programs.The White House on Monday hosted about 300 guests at a party celebrating the law and featuring discussions led by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and HUD Secretary Ben Carson on helping newly-released prisoners successfully re-enter society following incarceration.
Trump’s proposed budget for the2020 fiscal year also reportedly includes more than $500 million to help assist and support former prisoners following their release from prison.
The measure has garnered the president some praise even among his toughest critics, including liberal CNN commentator Van Jones, who recently applauded Trump's criminal justice reform efforts from the stage at CPAC in February. And, like Washington, Jones' comments weren't well received by many of his fellow progressives.