Since launching his campaign, white supremacists have been very explicit about their support for Donald Trump. Thanks to what the Trump camp calls a database error, one of the most prominent advocates of white nationalism almost had a chance to be a delegate for Trump at the upcoming Republican National Convention.
The Trump campaign picked William Johnson, a well-known white supremacist as a delegate.
On Tuesday, Mother Jones, a progressive nonprofit media company, reported that the Trump campaign had sent a list of the 169 handpicked delegates to California’s secretary of state. Among those names was William Johnson, leader of the American Freedom Party, a group that’s “dedicated to the interests vital to the preservation and continuity of ethnic European communities within the United States.” In other words, they’re a group that’s afraid that white European culture in America is being destroyed by the likes of brown people.
William Johnson was behind the pro-Trump “don’t vote for the Cuban” robocall.
Johnson was excited to have been picked as a delegate.
“I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views,” Johnson told Mother Jones. “I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody.”
That excitement was short lived. The Trump campaign immediately disavowed Johnson and said that his selection was a mistake.
NEW: Trump Campaign Statement on inclusion of White Nationalist on CA Delegate List: pic.twitter.com/5HkzxAaAMN
— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) May 10, 2016
The Trump campaign issued the above statement the same day the Mother Jones story broke. That explanation, however, doesn’t match up with emails Mother Jones published in a followup post that clearly show Johnson and a Trump rep communicating with each other as recently as Monday, suggesting that poor Johnson was thrown under the bus quicker than you could say “White Power!”
Trump’s campaign tried to get Johnson’s name off the list, but they missed the deadline.
NEW: White Nationalist William Johnson remains on Trump's delegate list. Statement from CA Secretary of State Spox: pic.twitter.com/v7DNg0QE7v
— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) May 11, 2016
Although still technically a Trump delegate, Johnson has said repeatedly that he is resigning from his position. He also went on CNN to talk about his unwavering support of Trump.
On Wednesday, Johnson appeared on CNN to further absolve the Trump camp of this whole debacle. In his interview, the white supremacist told Jake Tapper that Donald Trump is “the real deal” and is still behind the GOP frontrunner. He just, you know, won’t be in Cleveland. Even if we give Trump the benefit of the doubt and take his claim that this was all a clerical error, it doesn’t take away from the fact that white supremacists like Johnson and David Duke are coming out to support Trump. Also, we’re not saying that all Trump supporters are white supremacists, but we think it’s a fair thing to say that most white supremacists are voting for Trump, and something tells us that it isn’t because of the candidate’s tax plan.