Van Jones I Went Full Fanboy for Winnie Mandela

4/2/2018 3:17 PM PDT

Van Jones Confesses He Went Full Fanboy on Winnie Mandela

EXCLUSIVE

When Van Met Winnie, it was nothing like Harry and Sally ... but CNN host Van Jones still got an unforgettable story out of it.

We got the CNN host Monday at LAX as he was heading to Memphis to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. He also reflected on Winnie Mandela's death ... and the moment he, unexpectedly, came face-to-face with her. 

As we reported, Nelson Mandela's wife died Monday after a lengthy battle with illness -- and even though her life was filled with scandals, Van says it's hard to judge her.

He also told us why he's sure activists like Winnie and Dr. King would be proud of what's happening in America and around the world, right now.