When that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing: Trump supporters seeking emotional help and legal advice from white nationalists.
William Daniel Johnson, a practicing lawyer and the leader of the American Freedom Party, told The Daily Beast he plans to launch the Trump Harassment Hotline on Tuesday, a 24/7 service “to help those who are attacked physically and verbally for supporting Trump.”
The idea is that a Trump supporter who has been subjected to emotional or physical abuse from someone who disagrees with them politically can call a single phone number for all their needs. Think of it as a one-stop shop for legal advice from people who think the white race is at risk of dying out because of immigrants.
Johnson provided The Daily Beast with the hotline number, registered to Santa Ana, California. "Hello and welcome to the political harassment hotline," a voice that does not belong to Johnson says, introducing a voicemail. "If you have been harassed or intimidated due to your political beliefs and you'd like to report the incident please leave us a brief message." It does not mention Trump's name specifically.
“We have three counselors lined up including one person who has been a volunteer for a rape crisis hotline for 8 years,” Johnson said in an email exchange with The Daily Beast.
“We also have four attorneys lined up to assist if the harassment arises to legal claim. These four lawyers are licensed in five different states, but they each have contacts to cover most states.”
Johnson, who somewhat ironically represents Japanese corporations involved in U.S. activities, said he’d be willing to provide free legal advice to the callers himself.
“If any of the people need contracts drafted in Japanese then, I’ll charge them. Otherwise, I will pass it on to the right attorney,” the bilingual white nationalist explained.
Trump’s campaign did not respond when asked what they think of a white nationalist providing their supporters with legal counsel.
Johnson has been persistent in his support of Trump, recording a series of robocalls through his American National Super PAC on the candidate’s behalf in Iowa and more recently in Utah, a state which votes today.
In his latest race-baiting message, Johnson assails Mitt Romney in a strongly Mormon state where Trump is expected to do exceedingly poorly.
“The American National Super PAC makes this call in support of Donald Trump,” the message begins. “My name is William Johnson. I am a farmer and a white nationalist.
This robocall goes out to all millennials and others who are honest in all their dealings. Mitt Romney has viciously attacked Donald Trump. Mitt Romney and his establishment conservatives are both mean-spirited and dishonest. The white race is being replaced by other peoples in America and in all white countries. Donald Trump stands strong as a nationalist. Mitt Romney and his establishment conservatives pretend they don’t care.”
It is unclear why millennials are specifically mentioned or why a message from a guy who thinks the white race is in disastrous trouble would resonate with young people in Utah.
Nevertheless, Johnson said he feels a kinship with Trump and suggested that the kind of trouble-making protesters who seek to disrupt the mogul’s rallies are also a nagging presence at white nationalist events.
“Our meetings are usually canceled by hotels and other venues because of pressure from these protesters,” Johnson lamented. “The difference now is venues won’t cancel Donald Trump’s activities and where before the protesters were sizeable in number when compared to attendees to white nationalist events. In the present instance, Donald Trump’s rallies are so large that the supporters can push back.”
“Push back” in this usage can be understood as sucker-punching, which has happened during at least two Trump events, including a recent rally in Arizona.
But even as much as Johnson loves the spray-tanned demagogue at the head of the Republican race right now, the feeling isn’t quite mutual. Sad!
According to a recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, Trump returned a $250 contribution Johnson personally made to his campaign back in September. Johnson refused to tell The Daily Beast if he had received the money back though.
But Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for his fanboy support hasn’t cooled Johnson’s ardor.
“The Donald Trump supporters will not do anything serious,” Johnson asserted. “But the Trump protesters are indeed scary. If they have the chance they might seriously injure the Trump rally attendees.”
And when that happens, at least they know who to call.
Updated 7:29 pm on 3/22/16 to reflect the activation of the phone line and its message.