Trump campaign condemns anti-McMullin robocall
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s campaign on Monday quickly condemned a white nationalist supporter who is pushing a small automated call in Utah slandering a third-party threat in the state, Evan McMullin.
A California man named William Johnson has placed a robocall in the state identifying himself as a “farmer and a white nationalist” and alleging that McMullin “has two mommies.” McMullin grew up with both a father and a mother, but his parents have since divorced and his mother is now in a lesbian relationship.
Johnson also alleges — without evidence — that McMullin is gay because he is currently single.
“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,” the call concludes.
The Trump campaign quickly rebuked Johnson.
“We strongly condemn this rhetoric and these activities of which we have no knowledge,” Trump spokesman Hope Hicks said Monday.
The campaign distanced itself far more quickly than it has some other white nationalists in the past, including when Trump repeatedly demurred to CNN”s Jake Tapper about David Duke’s support, before finally condemning him.
White supremacists have found unusual comfort in Trump, who has stoked nationalist sentiment among supporters and launched some racially based attacks during the campaign, from proposing a ban on Muslim immigration and accusing Mexican immigrants of being criminals and “rapists.”
The call has barely any money behind it — just $2,000, Johnson said, and will go to 193,000 homes between Monday and Wednesday evening. But it is a reflection of the growing threat posed by McMullin, who has lead Trump in some polls in the ruby-red state.
McMullin’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but McMullin via Twitter held up the calls as a sign of his strength.
“This attack is consistent with @realDonaldTrump’s bigoted, deceitful campaign and vision for America,” he tweeted. “Utahns won’t be fooled.”
By Theodore Schleifer