The Slatest

Trump Campaign Nominates Prominent White Supremacist To Be Convention Delegate

Artist’s rendering of what we might be seeing at this July’s Republican convention in Cleveland.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Getty Images.

Well, this is crazy but not necessarily entirely surprising: Mother Jones reports that the Donald Trump campaign has nominated William Johnson, a California attorney and “one of the country’s most prominent white nationalists,” to be a delegate at July’s Republican convention.

The details: Campaigns participating in the June 7 California primary submit lists of 169 proposed delegates to California’s Secretary of State. A certain number of those delegates go to the national convention depending on how the California vote turns out. And one of the delegates who was nominated by the Trump campaign is the leader of the American Freedom Party, whose group seeks to preserve “the customs and heritage of the European American people” and who once wrote a book suggesting that all nonwhite Americans should be deported.

The Trump campaign is going with “database error” as its excuse for nominating a white supremacist to be a convention delegate:

Johnson, who co-hosts a Christian (!) radio show broadcast in three states and who has previously made national headlines for buying pro-Trump robocalls, tells Mother Jones he did not conceal his identity or beliefs when he applied to the Trump campaign to become a potential delegate:

The robocalls, the radio show, and the “harassment hotline” were all things that Johnson mentioned in his application to become a Trump delegate. He specifically cited an anti-Romney robocall commissioned in Utah this past March, which begins, in part, “My name is William Johnson. I am a farmer and a white nationalist.”

(Here’s more on that “harassment hotline.”)

Johnson asserts that the American Freedom Party has gained “hundreds of new members” during the Trump campaign. “[Trump] is allowing us to talk about things we’ve not been able to talk about,” he says. “So even if he is not elected, he has achieved great things.”