*Criminal justice reform advocate Alice Johnson says she’s not a “pawn” for Donald Trump after receiving backlash for speaking at the Republican National Convention.
At the urging of reform advocate Kim Kardashian West, Trump commuted Johnson’s life sentence after she served nearly 22 years for a nonviolent drug offense. Trump issued her a full pardon just hours after her speech.
Speaking to “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King, Johnson said Friday, “I’m 65 years old, Gayle. And don’t no one tell me what to do. I got my own mind. I do what I want to do. And since I got my pardon papers, I put those pardon papers in my back pocket. And I’m free totally to do whatever I want to do”
Outside the White House after her speech, Johnson said she was “followed” by protesters who said “really awful things.”
“We could have a dialogue together. But when you’re screaming at me and saying ugly things, that’s not really getting the message through,” she said.
Johnson said she supported the message of the Black Lives Matter movement as a Black woman, but said she hoped the message could be communicated in a way that “won’t be mixed up.”
Meanwhile, Johnson is eager to exercise her right to vote after being denied for more than two decades, but would not reveal who has her vote. “You can be assured I will be voting my conscience, Gayle. And I would suggest that everyone vote their conscience,” she said.