Prominent white nationalist William Johnson, an ardent supporter of Donald Trump’s campaign who was previously listed as a California delegate for the Republican National Convention, has paid for a new robocall targeting #NeverTrump independent candidate Evan McMullin in Utah.
According to an email from Johnson, he has scheduled the new robocall to begin going out to Utah voters on Monday evening.
“Hello, My name is William Johnson,” the audio recording begins. “I am a farmer and a white nationalist. I make this call against Evan McMullin and in support of Donald Trump.
“Evan McMullin is an open borders, amnesty supporter.
“Evan has two mommies. His mother is a lesbian, married to another woman. Evan is okay with that. Indeed Evan supports the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.
“Evan is over 40 years old and is not married and doesn’t even have a girlfriend. I believe Evan is a closet homosexual.
“Don’t vote for Evan McMullin. Vote for Donald Trump. He will respect all women and be a president we can all be proud of.”
When asked what evidence he has for any of these claims, Johnson emailed The Daily Beast: “Wikipedia tells his story (about his mother). Also, if you Google him, it readily comes up. I said that ‘I think he is a closet homosexual.’ Calling someone a homosexual is no longer defamation. Also, he is a public figure. Word on the street is that he is gay.”
The white-nationalist leader added that “There are a lot of homosexual Mormons, some struggling to stay in the Church and some who are bitter.” He cited a Reddit thread full of unverified claims about McMullin’s alleged homosexuality.
In response to news of the ad, McMullin tweeted that this is “another desperate attack” by “Trump and his racist supporters” as his lead continues to diminish in Utah. “This attack is consistent with [Trump’s] bigoted, deceitful campaign and vision for America. Utahns won’t be fooled,” he later added.
Besides the outrageousness and homophobic nature of the accusations, the call contains some inaccuracies. While he respects the Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage, McMullin has said he personally believes that marriage should be strictly between a man and a woman.
As the independent candidate’s polling continues to rise in Utah, where many Mormon voters reject Trump’s candidacy, the loud-mouthed Republican nominee has recently lashed out at McMullin calling him a “puppet” of conservative commentator Bill Kristol.
According to Johnson, the calls will go out to at least 193,000 residential landlines in Utah starting Monday evening and ending Wednesday evening. He said it cost him around $2,000.
Johnson has previously paid for robocalls on behalf of Trump, including one in February of this year where he implored voters not to support a “Cuban”—a reference to Trump’s primary opponent Marco Rubio.
“The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist,’ This is our mindset: It’s okay that our government destroys our children’s future, but don’t call me racist,” said the call, which ran in Vermont and Minnesota.
“I am afraid to be called racist. It’s okay to give away our country through immigration, but don’t call me racist. It’s okay that few schools any more have beautiful white children as the majority, but don’t call me racist. Gradual genocide against the white race is okay, but don’t call me racist. I am afraid to be called racist. Donald Trump is not a racist, but Donald Trump is not afraid.”
The Trump campaign, for its part, issued a statement after news broke of Johnson’s ad. “We strongly condemn this rhetoric and these activities of which we have no knowledge,” Trump spokesman Hope Hicks said.
The associations with Trump’s campaign don’t end there for Johnson.
On Sept. 14, 2015, Johnson, as leader of the American Freedom Party, sent Trump $250, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. Shortly thereafter, Johnson set up the American National Super PAC to begin making robocalls to promote Trump in Iowa. Faced with a question about contributions from white nationalists, Trump told a town hall attendee in New Hampshire: “I would certainly return it if you think it is appropriate.”
“I would return it. Don’t be so angry, I don’t even know who he is,” Trump promised in February.
The campaign did in fact refund this money but not the additional amounts that Johnson has continued to pour into the campaign as of late.
When asked about the contributions, Johnson told The Daily Beast he thought had given even more than the documented amount.
“I donated more than $1,500,” he said in an email. “I think I am near the max of $2,500. I paid by credit card and I don't keep my personal accounts, so I don’t know for sure, but I have given on many occasions.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with McMullin’s and Trump’s respective comments.