Another day, another opportunity for Donald Trump to show everyone how totally not racist he is by cozying up to white nationalists.
During his nearly year-long campaign to be the leader of the free world, we’ve seen The Donald retweet white supremacists numerous times, fail to disavow the KKK and David Duke, and his son provide an interview to a white nationalist radio broadcast. This isn’t even touching on his virulently bigoted campaign that is centered on removing Mexicans, building a wall to keep them out and refusing to admit any Muslims to the country.
However, during this time, he’s at least kept a certain distance between the actual political machinations of his campaign and the extreme racists who make up the backbone of his support. That is until this week, when Trump selected William Daniel Johnson to be one of his delegates in California.
Yep, this is the same Johnson who is the leader of the American Freedom Party and paid for robocalls in state primaries earlier this year telling GOP voters to vote for Trump and “not a Cuban” because the “white race is dying.”
The self-proclaimed “farmer and white nationalist” who did racist GOP primary robocalls for Trump gets a new gig: https://t.co/JBKT0klYWE
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) May 10, 2016
The same Johnson who the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as one of the most influential and prominent, if uninspiring, white supremacists in the country.
According to Mother Jones, Johnson applied to the Trump campaign and provided all of his biographical information. Considering his PAC funded the notorious robocalls earlier in the year, it would seem unlikely that they had no idea who he was.
Johnson applied to the Trump campaign to be a delegate. He was accepted on Monday. In order to be approved he had to sign this pledge sent to him by the campaign: “I, William Johnson, endorse Donald J. Trump for the office of President of the United States. I pledge to cast ALL of my ballots to elect Donald J. Trump on every round of balloting at the 2016 Republican National Convention so that we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” After he signed, the Trump campaign added his name to the list of 169 delegates it forwarded to the secretary of state.
Johnson got the news that he had been selected by Trump in a congratulatory email sent to him by the campaign’s California Delegate Coordinator, Katie Lagomarsino. “I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views,” Johnson tells Mother Jones. “I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody.”
That final sentence just sums it up, doesn’t it? This is what this is all about, right? If anyone doubts that Trump’s appeal is largely white resentment, this should finally disabuse one of that thought for good.
On the other hand, we also know this will not harm his campaign one gotdamn bit.