Something does not compute at the Donald Trump campaign: It picked William Johnson, a white nationalist who wants to deport all minorities from the United States, as a California delegate ahead of the state’s June 7 primary.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said: “A database error led to the inclusion of a potential delegate that had been rejected and removed from the campaign’s list in February 2016.”
Trump, who blamed a “lousy earpiece” when he failed three times to denounce Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in a CNN interview, has an uncanny tendency to run into technical difficulties when it comes to white supremacism.
Johnson is the leader of the American Freedom Party (AFP), whose self-declared mission is to “represent the political interests of White Americans” and safeguard “the customs and heritage of the European American people.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization that monitors hate groups, it is “arguably the most important white nationalist group in the country.”
The AFP has been vocally supporting Trump throughout the Republican primary. It funded pro-Trump robocalls with messages including: “The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist,’” and “Donald Trump is not racist, but Donald Trump is not afraid. Don’t vote for a Cuban. Vote for Donald Trump.”
Although Trump’s campaign claimed that Johnson was removed from its list in February, Mother Jones—which broke the news of his selection—reported that the Trump campaign had emailed with him as recently as this week.
And while the campaign said that Johnson had been removed, the California secretary of state’s office contradicted that account, in a statement to ABC’s Candace Smith:
The original Mother Jones story also had this telling quote from Johnson. He told reporter Josh Harkinson:
For many, many years, when I would say these things, other white people would call me names: “Oh, you’re a hatemonger, you’re a Nazi, you’re like Hitler.” Now they come in and say, “Oh, you’re like Donald Trump.”