Trump Under Fire For Selection of White Nationalist Leader as California Delegate
The Trump campaign on Tuesday said that the name of a well-known white nationalist as a state delegate to the Republican presidential primary in California was removed from the final list that was submitted for approval.
Earlier on Tuesday it was reported that William Johnson, one of the country’s most well-known white supremacists, recently applied to and was accepted by the Trump campaign as a state delegate to the Republican presidential primary in California. The report said that Johnson’s name was included on a list of 169 delegates forwarded to the California secretary of state.
Johnson is the head of the white supremacist American Freedom Party and has previously financed robocalls and radio time in support of Donald Trump’s candidacy. He reportedly spoke last year at a white supremacist event in Bakersfield, Calif. that included racist skinheads. Johnson told Mother Jones that in his application to be a delegate for Trump he disclosed multiple details about his background and activism, though he did not specifically use the term “white nationalist.”
“The American Freedom Party is a hate group that ADL has been tracking for years,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO, said in a statement. “We call on Donald Trump to renounce the support of the American Freedom Party and to remove its leader, William Johnson, from the Trump delegate slate in California.”
In a statement released by Trump’s California State Director Tim Clark, the campaign contended that Johnson’s name that had previously been rejected and removed from the campaign’s list in February 2016 was discovered on Monday as the Trump campaign submitted its list of California delegates to be certified by the Secretary of State of California. “This was immediately corrected and a final list, which does not include this individual, was submitted for certification,” said Clark.
As of Tuesday evening, the name was still on the list posted online by California’s Sec. of State.
Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hick blamed it on “a database error.”
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) blasted the presumptive Republican nominee for his “racist, xenophobic candidacy.”
“Donald Trump is the candidate who will Make America Hate Again,” DNC spokesman Mark Paustenbach said in a statement. “Trump’s racist, xenophobic candidacy continues to fuel a resurgence of white nationalism in the United States, and to elevate a man like this shows that Trump has neither the temperament nor judgment to serve as president.”