CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Johnson to explain a quote in which he said that for years people called him a “hatemonger” or “Nazi” when he discussed his opinions on race. Now, Johnson told Mother Jones in an interview, they say he’s “like Donald Trump.”
“Right now in society they’re passing around the word racist more and more,” Johnson told Tapper. “And everyone is being called a racist nowadays so that term and all of these invectives are having less meaning. What I mean by that is we are now able to more openly discuss issues regarding race because everyone is being called such invectives nowadays that it doesn’t mean much anymore.”
Johnson, who's been a prominent figure in the white nationalist movement for decades, was listed this week as one of Trump's California delegates to the Republican National Convention. The Trump campaign quickly attributed Johnson’s inclusion on the delegate list to a “database error.”
But Trump staffers in California congratulated Johnson Monday on his acceptance as a delegate, and as TPM reported, the secretary of state's office said Johnson remains on Trump's delegate slate because the campaign missed a deadline to remove his name. Johnson told TPM that he would not serve as a delegate against the campaign’s wishes, however.
During the CNN interview, Johnson expounded on his theory that discussing race openly was key to preventing “western civilization” from “declining and dying.”
“Europe is being replaced by immigrants from Africa. America, the same thing is happening here,” Johnson said in his characteristic rapid-fire patter. “So I believe we need to be aware of this precipitous decline in the white race. I think it’s good for people to be proud of your heritage, whatever heritage that might be, but particularly for white people because the whites now are so afraid to be proud of their heritage because they’re called bad names if they are.”
Trump has earned the support of other prominent white nationalist leaders, including members of the Ku Klux Klan, for his promises to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States and to deport undocumented immigrants.
Johnson called his campaign a “refreshing change.”