WASHINGTON (JTA) — Donald Trump’s campaign withdrew its support for a white supremacist as one of its California delegates.
William Johnson, the leader of the American Freedom Party, signed a pledge May 9 to support the presidential candidate as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in July.
In the story first reported by Mother Jones, Johnson applied for the campaign’s support as a delegate and was approved by the campaign’s California delegate coordinator, Katie Lagomarsino.
On May 10, a number of groups that monitor hate groups identified the American Freedom Party as white supremacist.
“We call on Donald Trump to renounce the support of the American Freedom Party and to remove its leader, William Johnson, from the Trump delegate slate in California,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.
The same day, Trump’s campaign told Johnson he was no longer a delegate, and he willingly withdrew, saying he did not want to harm the campaign, according to the Daily Beast. However, it may be too late; the California secretary of state said the campaign missed the deadline to withdraw Johnson as a delegate and he remains formally listed, the Washington Post reported.
Trump’s campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, told the Washington Post that Johnson’s inclusion on the campaign’s list of delegates from the state was a database error. California’s primary is on June 7, and voters will select delegates who will attend the convention in Cleveland.
Johnson, ahead of the Iowa caucuses in January, had paid for robocalls and radio time promoting Trump.
Trump, a real estate magnate and reality TV star, at the time disavowed the robocalls, which were not coordinated with his campaign.
Trump, who last week effectively secured the Republican nomination, last week disavowed praise from another white supremacist, David Duke.