On Tuesday, news broke about a robocall circulating around Utah that accused independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin of being a "closet homosexual." The call itself was created by a self-described white nationalist and discouraged a vote for McMullin in favor of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
"Evan has two mommies. His mother is a lesbian, married to another woman. Evan is OK with that," said the caller. "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."
But now more information has been released about the man behind the robocall. William Johnson is a California resident, a Los Angeles attorney and chairman of the white separatist American Freedom Party. Furthermore, he was an official convention delegate approved by the Trump campaign.
In the state Johnson resides, in order to become a delegate, voters must be approved by the campaign itself, as the Los Angeles Times reported:
In California, Republican voters seeking to become convention delegates apply directly to their candidates’ campaigns, which then sort through the submissions and select their slate of delegates. These names are later submitted to the Secretary of State’s office.
The Trump campaign attempted to wash Johnson off their delegate list back in May, but while the campaign has the ability to select delegates, it does not have the power to remove them. The best the campaign could hope for was that Johnson did not show up to the convention, where he would then be replaced with someone else.
Which is exactly what happened. Johnson decided not to show of his own accord, stating that the Trump campaign did not "need the baggage that came along with my signing up as a delegate."
However, this obviously did not stop Johnson from continuing to advocate for Trump through his robocalls, which cost him $2,000 and reached 193,000 homes in Utah in order to accuse McMullin and his mother of being homosexual. Johnson has since apologized for the robocalls, however, stating he only did it because the white birthrate is low, and McMullin's attitudes were contributing to it.
"I am sorry for the mean-spirited message and I humbly retract its contents," said Johnson. "I sent the robocalls out because Utah is a strong family-values state and America and the West is gripped by an extreme and fatal malady: failure to marry and have children. The white birthrate is so astonishingly low that Western Civilization will soon cease to exist. I felt Evan McMullin typified that perfidious mentality."
This is not the only trouble McMullin has gotten from Trump supporters as he continues to lead in Utah. The independent candidate and Utah native has stated he has received death threats from white supremacists on top of Johnson's robocalls. McMullin has said that as shocking as this is, none of it surprises him.
"Donald Trump himself has bragged about sexually assaulting women and attacked people for the color of their skin and their faith," McMullin told CNN. "I mean, this is the Republican nominee and none of this should surprise any of us. This is exactly the narrative and the approach that the Donald Trump campaign has had. I just thought, well of course, this is more of the same."
Trump has a history of attracting white supremacists to his cause, including former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, who at one point sent forth his own robocalls promoting Trump.