Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Charleston, W. Va. on May 5, 2016.
Photo by Chris Tilley/Reuters

CA officials: White nationalist will remain on Trump delegate list


A self-described white nationalist will remain on Donald Trump’s list of delegates in the state of California in advance of the state’s June 7 primary, according to the California Secretary of State.

The Trump campaign says that William Johnson, the chairman of the American Freedom Party, was included as a delegate by mistake and that he was eliminated from a corrected “final” list of delegates. Johnson told NBC News that he intended to withdraw from the slot.

But Sam Mahood, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State, told NBC News late Tuesday that Johnson is locked into the position.

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“Monday, May 9th was the statutory deadline to submit the delegate list,” Mahood said. “Trump’s campaign reached out to our office to revise that list today. We informed the campaign that we would not be accepting their revision because it was past the statutory deadline. William Johnson will remain on the Trump campaign’s certified list of delegates.”

Johnson has previously been identified as one of the individuals behind racially-charged robocalls in several states boosting Trump and lamenting that “the white race is dying out.” The American Freedom Party platform describes the group as “a Nationalist party that shares the customs and heritage of the European American people.”

His inclusion on the slate was first reported by Mother Jones. Johnson told the publication “I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody.”

Trump’s campaign initially blamed a “database error” for Johnson’s inclusion on the list of delegates to the Republican National Convention in July.

“Yesterday, the Trump campaign submitted its list of California delegates to be certified by the Secretary of State of California,” 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.”

But in a later statement, the campaign mentioned a review of “computer records” and said a correction was made before a “final list” was submitted to California officials.

“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,” Trump’s California state director, Tim Clark, said. “This was immediately corrected and a final list, which does not include this individual, was submitted for certification.”

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