Donald Trump’s campaign said Tuesday that the inclusion of a white nationalist on its list of California delegates was the result of a “database error” and that the American Freedom Party’s William Johnson had been rejected as a potential delegate in February.
The magazine Mother Jones reported earlier Tuesday that Trump had selected the prominent white nationalist leader among his California delegates to the Republican National Convention.
Johnson appeared on a list of Trump delegates released Monday by state officials. He told Mother Jones that he hoped to “show how I can be mainstream and have these views.”
“I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody,” Johnson told the magazine.
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an email that 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.”
Ted Costa, a California veteran of conservative ballot initiatives who was helping Trump vet potential delegates in the state, said he turned over delegates he reviewed to the campaign “a long time ago,” adding, “I don’t recollect that name coming on my watch.”
Democrats fired on Trump within hours of the revelation.
In a prepared statement, DNC spokesman Mark Paustenbach said “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.”