White Nationalists Behind Pro-Trump Robocall: Trump's Response Was "Wonderful" And Validating

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Two white nationalists who robocalled voters in support of Donald Trump are praising his response to their campaign as "wonderful" and a validation of their efforts. While Trump said he disavowed their robocall, the white nationalists believe Trump did it "in the nicest possible way" and affirmed "they're right to be furious."

The American National Super PAC, led by William Daniel Johnson, earlier this month issued a robocall asking Iowa voters to support Trump because of his anti-immigrant views. Johnson, who identified himself during the call as a "white nationalist," told TPM he ultimately wants "a white ethno-state, a country made up of only white people." White nationalist writer Jared Taylor also participated in the call. The Anti-Defamation League describes Taylor as someone who "advocates voluntary segregation" and "upholds racial homogeneity as the key to fostering peaceful coexistence."

During a January 13 interview, Trump was asked by CNN's Erin Burnett if he denounces the robocall. Trump responded: "I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They're angry at what's going on" with regard to illegal immigration: 

BURNETT: Mr. Trump, when you hear that, does that shock you? Do you denounce that?

TRUMP: Nothing in this country shocks me. I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They're angry at what's going on. They're angry at the border. They're angry at the crime. They're angry at people coming in and shooting Kate in the back in California and San Francisco. They're angry when Jamiel Shaw shot in the face by an illegal immigrant. They're angry when the woman, the veteran, 65 years old is raped, sodomized, and killed by an illegal immigrant. And, they're very angry about it, and -- by the way, thousands of other cases like that. They're very angry about it. So, I would disavow that, but I will tell you people are extremely angry.

BURNETT: People are extremely angry, but to be clear, when he says, "We need smart, well-educated white people to assimilate to our culture, vote Trump," you're saying you disavow that. You do denounce that?

TRUMP: Well, you just heard me. I said it. How many times do you want me to say it?

BURNETT: A third would be good.

TRUMP: I said I disavow.

During a January 16 interview on the "pro-White" radio show The Political Cesspool, Johnson and host James Edwards praised Trump's response as "wonderful" and "quite good." Johnson said he "couldn't have asked for a better approach from him":

JOHNSON: Donald Trump's response when he was asked to address it was just a wonderful response. He disavowed us, but he explained why there is so much anger in America that I couldn't have asked for a better approach from him.

EDWARDS: I was going to ask you about that. So, you know, of course I saw that. In a perfect world he would say, "You know what? These guys are right. What are you going to do about it?" But understandably there is still a political reality. I think fundamentally, as I say on this show time and time again, most middle American, middle class whites agree with us fundamentally on the issues. But he's operating in a different world than that -- I think it was certainly better than to be expected. And I thought too it was quite good, as you did Bill, so this was something that you can live with in terms of a response from the Trump campaign and of course from there it's over. You know, the news cycle is over, if he's asked about it again he's already gone on record, he is the Teflon Don. He's the Teflon candidate. This wasn't of course made to hurt him, I don't know how much it hurt or helped him. Ultimately I don't think it did much of either -- it might have marginally helped him. It certainly didn't hurt him. And so his response is something that you greet with a level of respect, am I right?

JOHNSON: Oh yeah I do, I like it very much. And also the response that I got -- I put my own cell phone number out there. And I got, oh, a hundred calls regarding it. Most of the calls were hang-ups. They wanted to know if it was a real phone number. So they'd either hang up or say, "Oh I'm sorry, wrong number." But there were a majority of calls who were opposed to it but there were a minority of calls who approved of it, and liked it. So that was encouraging also. And that is a new phenomenon. Before we would have gotten no one who would be willing to come out and say that so these little things incrementally help raise awareness of the issues and help change public opinion.

Later in the program, Jared Taylor praised Trump for essentially saying he understands "exactly what these guys are saying, they're furious, and they're right to be furious." Taylor concluded that "if he disavowed us, he did it, I thought, in the nicest possible way." From his interview on The Political Cesspool:

EDWARDS: Your reaction to the Donald Trump acknowledgement, I think better than anyone really could have expected, correct?

TAYLOR: Yes, he was, you know, for days everybody was calling him up, calling up his campaign saying, "What do you think of these horrible people? Denounce them, denounce them." And he didn't. You know, he just maintained a dignified silence as he's capable of doing. And then finally when CNN's Erin Burnett really forced him to say, "Well, I would disavow it." But she asked him, "are you shocked by this? Will you denounce this?" "I'm not shocked by anything in America." I thought that was a great line. He's so quick on his feet. And then he goes to say, "I would disavow it" but then he goes on to explain why people are so angry. In effect, he's saying, "Yeah, yeah, if you want me to denounce it I will, but I understand exactly what these guys are saying, they're furious, and they're right to be furious." So if he disavowed us, he did it, I thought, in the nicest possible way.

As Media Matters and other outlets have documented, Trump's far-right rhetoric has spurred an "unprecedented interest in" white nationalism and has put their ideas "firmly in the mainstream."

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
Person
James Edwards, Jared Taylor
Show/Publication
The Political Cesspool
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