Trump Campaign Corresponded With Its White Nationalist Delegate Long After “Database Error”

Here are the emails from Monday, and William Johnson’s signed pledge form.


On Tuesday, Mother Jones broke the story that the Trump campaign had selected William Johnson, a prominent white nationalist leader, as a California delegate. The Trump campaign responded with the following statement:

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

Reached again by Mother Jones late Tuesday, Johnson said he would resign as a delegate if asked to do so by the campaign. “I accept Trump’s explanation,” he said, regarding the statement. “I don’t want to gainsay the Trump campaign. If I am not removed from the database, I will resign.”

Although the Trump campaign blamed a “database error” for including Johnson as a delegate, the campaign corresponded with him personally just over 24 hours ago. Trump’s California delegate coordinator, Katie Lagomarsino, sent Johnson a congratulatory email on Monday, and when he asked for clarification about how to send his completed pledge form back to the campaign, she replied. Here is the email exchange (with the personal contact information redacted by Mother Jones):

Mother Jones also has a copy of the pledge form discussed in the email exchange, which Johnson signed and sent to the Trump campaign on Monday. You can see his pledge here.

Update, 6pm PDT: ABC News‘ Candace Smith reports that Johnson may remain a Trump delegate per California regulations:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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