A Los Angeles attorney who advocates for the creation of a “white ethno-state” is on an official list of Donald Trump’s Republican convention delegates published Monday night by state election officials.
William Johnson, a self-described white separatist who is the chairman of the American Freedom Party, is among the delegates pledged to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee published by the California Secretary of State’s office.
The American Freedom Party is a group whose stated aim is “to represent the political interests of White Americans” and preserve “the customs and heritage of the European American people.” The party advocates deporting “all non-white immigrants and U.S. citizens, including anyone with any ascertainable trace of Negro blood” and believes that “diversity is white genocide.” In 1989 Johnson published a book entitled Amendment to the Constitution: Averting the Decline and Fall of America that laid out his plans for these racial deportations and called for the repeal of the 14th and 15th amendments. The book garnered him significant notoriety and he even appeared on many talk shows to discuss it.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, Trump’s campaign said Johnson’s inclusion on the published list of delegates was an error.
“Upon careful review of computer records, the inclusion of a potential delegate that had previously been rejected and removed from the campaign’s list in February 2016 was discovered,” Tim Clark, Trump’s California campaign director, said in the statement. “This was immediately corrected and a final list, which does not include this individual, was submitted for certification.”
But state officials said the billionaire may not have any way to formally cut him from the list. Sam Mahood, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, said California election code deals with selection and certification of delegates, but not their removal.
“They submitted a delegate list to our office yesterday, which was the deadline,” Mahood said. “They attempted to submit a revised list today, which we informed them we would not be accepting because it’s past the deadline.”
In practice, Johnson could simply not attend the Republican National Convention, where he would be replaced by an alternate delegate.
A spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment.
In California, Republican voters seeking to become convention delegates apply directly to their candidates’ campaigns, which then sort through the submissions and select their slate of delegates. These names are later submitted to the Secretary of State’s office.
“Donald Trump is the candidate that will Make America Hate Again,” Mark Paustenbach, national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, 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.”
In an interview with The Times, Johnson said he received an email from the Trump campaign on Tuesday afternoon confirming that his name “was erroneously listed as a potential delegate.”
Johnson said he had advocated for Trump in recent months, setting up robo-calls supporting the candidate in seven different states, but not California. Johnson said he also created a “crisis hotline to be able to handle people who have been traumatized or vandalized supporting Trump.”
Johnson, who unsuccessfully ran for a judgeship in Los Angeles County in 2008, did not mince words when asked by a reporter to explain his politics.
“I would like a separate white ethno-state…. I think diversity and multiculturalism is a failure, and I think it’s going to destroy civilization,” he said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the American Freedom Party as an organization founded by “racist Southern California skinheads that aims to deport immigrants and return the United States to white rule.” Joanna Mendelson, an investigative researcher with the California branch of the Anti-Defamation League, said groups like the American Freedom Party highlight a tonal shift in the white supremacist movement, away from brash displays of violence and toward a subtler approach.
“What these individuals do is they kind of use pseudo-intellectual racism to articulate their views, and they attach themselves to national topics, be it immigration or the elections currently, and insert themselves into the conversation,” she previously told the Los Angeles Times. Johnson was one of the keynote speakers at Camp Comradery last year, a national gathering of white separatists in Bakersfield, according to Mendelson and the American Freedom Party’s website.
Trump, who has often been criticized for his controversial statements about Mexicans and a call to deny Muslims access to the country, ran into trouble earlier in his campaign when he was slow to disavow an endorsement from David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Trump’s other California delegates include more established figures like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Harmeet K. Dhillon, vice chair of the state’s Republican Party.
With Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dropping out of the race, California’s June 7 primary will serve as little more than a coronation for Trump.
Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, said Johnson is well-known in extremist circles, and his appearance among Trump’s delegates highlights the way this year’s election cycle has served to legitimize voices that were previously considered fringe.
“This white nationalist is someone that any respectable, mainstream candidate should leave skid marks running from,” Levin said.
(h/t Los Angeles Times)
The white nationalist William Johnson has resigned as a delegate for the Trump campaign.
They don’t need the baggage that came along with my signing up as a delegate.
Trump is playing this off as a simple mistake, and point out the fact that William Johnson was removed from a list a few months ago holy shit what was William Johnson even doing on a list to be a potential delegate in the first fucking place!?
From campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks:
Yesterday the Trump campaign submitted its list of California delegates to be certified by the Secretary of State of California. 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.
As you can see it was all a database error that holy shit what was William Johnson even doing on a list to be a potential delegate in the first fucking place!?
As it turned out the Trump’s explanation was a total fabrication because the Trump campaign was personally corresponding with William Johnson a day before the story broke.
And even though he tried to resign as a delegate, due to California delegate rules William Johnson will remain as a delegate for Trump.
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
In the end this is not surprising at all as Trump has had a history of white supremacy. Some examples include:
- Trump Fails To Condemn KKK On Television
- Trump Retweets Racist ‘White Genocide’ Twitter Account
- Donald Trump Retweets ‘WhiteGenocideTM’ Account—Again
- Donald Trump calls for ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’
- Trump Calls Black Protesters “Not People”
- Trump Retweets, Then Deletes, Racist Image Tying Jeb Bush to Nazis
- Trump Condones Roughing Up Protester
- Trump Calls Supporters Who Beat Latino Man “Passionate”
- Trump Keeps Hitler Book in a Cabinet by His Bed
If Trump had reviewed our Supporters list, he would have found William Johnson under the list of hate group leaders.