Van Jones slams Donald Trump as a 'pathological liar with a Twitter addiction'

Van Jones emerged as a star last November when he said that Donald Trump's election was a result of a "whitelash." Now the CNN political commentator is hosting a series of town hall meetings across the nation that he describes as "Anthony Bourdain meets Phil Donahue."

Jones spoke with Variety about what to expect from the next four years, why Hillary Clinton lost, and what the Democrats need to do differently.

How has your life changed since the election?
For a lot of people, especially liberals and progressives, election night was a traumatic shock, like when JFK was shot or the Twin Towers fell. It was a huge media moment. And for a lot of them, I was their guy on CNN that night. For several days, I didn't have to pay for anything. I would walk into a store or sit down at a restaurant or get in a cab, and the workers wouldn't charge me, to say "thank you."

JAKE CHESSUM for Variety

Why are people so traumatized?
You're taught your whole life not to be a bully, and this time a bully won. It upsets your whole view when someone like that wins.

What are your biggest concerns for the next four years?
Those of us who know and love our Muslim-American communities are very concerned about them being targeted and singled out. Women's rights are now in jeopardy. I think black voters and black protesters have reason to be concerned. And the list goes on. In terms of the overseas situation, this guy, for reasons that are hard to understand, has taken it upon himself to destroy NATO, which our grandparents and great-grandparents had built up to protect the Western democracies from a Russian dictatorship.

SEE: Stand-ins for Donald Trump and Melania Trump practice Inauguration:

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Stand-ins for Donald Trump and Melania Trump practice Inauguration
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Stand-ins for Donald Trump and Melania Trump practice Inauguration
Army Sergeant Major Greg Lowery (L) playing the part of President-elect Donald Trump, and Army Spc. Sara Corry, playing the part of Melania Trump, walk along the parade route during a dress rehearsal for Inauguration Day, in Washington January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool
Stand-ins for President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania rehearse the swearing-in ceremony portion of the inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 15, 2017. Army SGM Gregory Lowery and SPC Sara Corry are the stand-ins for the Trumps. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Army Sergeant Major Greg Lowery (L) and Army Specialist Sara Corry stand in for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a rehearsal for the upcoming Inauguration Day parade in Washington, U.S. January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Stand-ins for President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania rehearse the swearing-in ceremony portion of the inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 15, 2017. Army SGM Gregory Lowery and SPC Sara Corry are the stand-ins for the Trumps. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Army Sergeant Major Greg Lowery (C, in red tie) and Army Specialist Sara Corry (in white coat) stand in for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania during a rehearsal for the upcoming Inauguration Day parade in Washington, U.S. January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Stand-ins for President-elect Donald Trump, and his wife Melania (L) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen (R) take part in a rehearsal for the inauguration on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 15, 2017. From L-R are SPC Sara Corry, SGM Gregory Lowery, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, MSG Neil Ewachiw and MSG Leigh Ann Hinton. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Soldiers march past stand-ins for President-elect Donald Trump, and his wife Melania (L) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen (R) during a rehearsal for the inauguration on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Army Sergeant Major Greg Lowery (L) playing the part of President-elect Donald Trump, and Army Spc. Sara Corry, playing the part of Melania Trump, walk along the parade route during a dress rehearsal for Inauguration Day, in Washington January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool
A military band passes stand-ins for President-elect Donald Trump, and his wife Melania (L) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen (R) during a rehearsal for the inauguration on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 15, 2017. From L-R are SPC Sara Corry, SGM Gregory Lowery, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, MSG Neil Ewachiw and MSG Leigh Ann Hinton. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Soldiers march past stand-ins for President-elect Donald Trump, and his wife Melania (L) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen (R) during a rehearsal for the inauguration on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump stand-in, Army Sgt. Major Greg Lowery (L) and Army Specialist Sara Corry, standing-in for Melania Trump (R), take part in a rehearsal for the swearing-in ceremony of the presidential inauguration at the U.S. Capitol January 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the next President of the United States on January 20th. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: Sylvester Simmons, left, and Martin Andrada, right, of the Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard watch as members of the The President's Own United States Marine Band rehearse for Donald Trump's Presidential Inauguration at the United States Capitol on Sunday January 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 15: U.S. Army Sgt. Major Gregory Lowery, left, stands in for President Elect Donald Trump during a rehearsal for Donald Trump's Presidential Inauguration at the United States Capitol on Sunday January 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Army Specialist Sara Corry(C) is escorted on on stage as she plays the role of incoming First Lady Melania Trump in a rehearsal for the presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 15, 2017. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Why did Hillary Clinton's campaign fail?
Hillary's campaign failed to connect. But her campaign didn't come out of nowhere. There's a level of coastal snobbery toward the red states and the red counties of blue states that allowed the phrase "basket of deplorables" to survive vetting and come out of the mouth of a presidential candidate.

You recently said on television that the Clinton era is over, a statement that upset some Democrats.
The sky is blue. Water is wet. And the Clinton era is over. These are not controversial statements. That style of politics that is so transactional and cynical is not going to work with the millennial generation. Do you think in four years that the Democratic Party that is more dominated by millennials and people of color would want to support a Clinton-style candidate as opposed to a Sanders-style candidate? I don't think it's worth arguing about.

"This thing should not have been close."
Van Jones

Are you saying that Sanders would have beaten Trump?
Not necessarily. Some business moderates who voted for Clinton would have been very nervous about Sanders. Plus, if you had Trump vs. Sanders, you probably would have had Bloomberg jump in. You would have had a different scenario.

What do Democrats need to do?
The Democrats are not going to get any better until we deal with our own problems. This thing should not have been close. We can't just talk about fake news and the Russians. I talked face to face with voters who voted for Obama and then voted for Trump. I talked to voters in Detroit who got no help from the Clinton campaign trying to turn out black voters. Everybody knows that Clinton should have blown this guy out of the water, and she didn't, because the campaign was run by a bunch of elite data-dummy snobs who thought they knew better than the grassroots people who were screaming the whole time.

Do you think Trump should be tweeting so much?
I think he's jeopardizing the majesty of the office by the way he's conducting himself. Every time a new form of media rises, you should have advantage of it: FDR with radio, JFK with television, Obama with the internet and viral videos, and now you have Trump with social media. We'll see if America can survive a president who is a pathological liar with a Twitter addiction.

Did you see his response to Meryl Streep's speech at the Golden Globes?
If you're the president of the United States and you're more angry with Meryl Streep than with a Russian dictator trying to subvert American democracy, there's something definitely wrong with you.

RELATED: Donald Trump meets with Martin Luther King III:
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Donald Trump meets with Martin Luther King III
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Donald Trump meets with Martin Luther King III

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Martin Luther King III, an American human rights advocate, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 16, 2017.

(REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski)

Martin Luther King III, an American human rights advocate, speaks to the press after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 16, 2017.

(REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski)

Martin Luther King III , an American human rights advocate, speaks to the press after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 16, 2017.

(REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 16, 2017.

(REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 16: Martin Luther King III hugs Omarosa Manigault as he arrives at Trump Tower, January 16, 2017 in New York City. Trump will be inaugurated as the next U.S. President this coming Friday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump with Martin Luther King III, an American human rights advocate, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 16, 2017.

(REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski)

Martin Luther King III (3rd from right) arrives at Trump Tower, January 16, 2017 in New York City. Trump will be inaugurated as the next U.S. President this coming Friday.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Martin Luther King III gets on an elevator as he arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on January 16, 2017. The eldest son of American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. met with US President-elect Donald Trump on the national holiday observed in remembrance of his late father.

(DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Martin Luther King III (C), an American human rights advocate, meets with associates of the Trump administration in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 16, 2017.

(REUTERS/Alex Wroblewski)

Martin Luther King III speaks to reporters after his meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower, January 16, 2017 in New York City. Trump will be inaugurated as the next U.S. President this coming Friday.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President-elect Donald Trump and Martin Luther King III stand after shaking hands after their meeting at Trump Tower, January 16, 2017 in New York City. Trump will be inaugurated as the next U.S. President this coming Friday.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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