White Nationalist Supporters Are Undeterred by Trump’s Iowa Caucus Loss

Allegra Kirkland, Talking Points Memo, February 2, 2016

The founder of a white nationalist super PAC that launched a robocall campaign for Donald Trump in Iowa is undeterred by his favored candidate’s second-place finish, and plans to move forward with another robocall campaign to get out the vote for Trump in New Hampshire.

William Johnson, chairman of the white nationalist American Freedom Party and founder of the American National Super PAC, told TPM in a Tuesday phone interview that he believes Trump is “well-placed to move forward in the other primaries.”

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Johnson’s PAC made national headlines in January after it rolled out a robocall campaign in the Hawkeye State that lavished praise on Trump’s anti-immigrant policy proposals. The call featured endorsements from a Filipino-American minister, Rev. Donald Tan, and Jared Taylor, the founder of the white supremacist American Renaissance magazine.

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When asked about the campaign in late January, Trump, who is not affiliated with the American National Super PAC, told CNN he “would disavow” the robocalls. But he added that he wasn’t surprised by their content.

“Nothing in this country shocks me. I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me,” he said.

Trump explained the calls by repeating his claims that undocumented immigrants commit crimes against U.S. citizens.

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In a Tuesday phone interview with TPM, Taylor noted that Trump’s explanation dovetailed nicely with the white nationalist views espoused by the super PAC.

“He didn’t put it in racial terms when he was asked to disavow the calls,” Taylor said. “He said people are furious about some of the immigrants who come in illegally and commit all sorts of problems. He is expressing sympathy not with the consciousness of race and the wish of whites to remain the majority; what he’s expressing solidarity with is the idea that we shouldn’t be letting in immigrants who are going to kill us and commit crimes. But in many respects it boils down to the same thing as a practical matter.”

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Taylor, who said he sees race as “the most difficult social fault line to try to paper over,” accused liberals of embracing the rhetoric of diversity while segregating themselves in practice. He pointed to the Clintons as a prime example, saying Chappaqua, New York, where Bill and Hillary Clinton own a home, is “about as white a place as you can find outside of Iceland.”

“Look at the people who shout the most about the benefits of diversity–they tend to be elites whose lives are practically untouched by diversity,” he argued. “They all say, ‘Oh diversity is a great strength, it’s a wonderful thing. But we will forgo it so a few working class slobs can live next to people who play Ranchero music ‘til 3 in the morning and who get to send their children to schools where they spend more time trying to teach English to foreign language speakers than teaching arithmetic.’”

Taylor said the people who actually experience–or, in his words, “suffer from”–diversity “are behind the kind of support that Trump, and to some extent Cruz, are getting.”

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