Evan McMullin, an independent candidate for president who’s running strong in Utah, is blasting Donald Trump over automated calls to voters from a white nationalist supporter condemning McMullin as a “closet homosexual” and “open-borders amnesty supporter.”
McMullin responded on Twitter, calling the smear campaign another “desperate attack” spreading “baseless lies” by Trump and his “racist supporters as he continues to lose ground in Utah.” He said the attack is consistent with Trump’s “bigoted, deceitful campaign and vision for America.”
White nationalist William Johnson said the call wills will continue to go out through Wednesday to 193,000 voters in Utah, where polls show McMullin is threatening to top Trump in a backlash from the mostly Mormon electorate.
Many Republican-leaning voters who are steeped in Utah’s culture of courtesy and fed up with Trump’s crudeness and antics have embraced McMullin. If McMullin prevailed, he would be the first non-GOP candidate to win the state since 1964.
In the 40-second call, Johnson introduces himself as a “farmer and white nationalist.” He says McMullin is OK with legalizing gay marriage and with the fact that he “has two mommies,” a reference to McMullin’s mother marrying a woman after divorcing his father. He also questions McMullin’s relationship status.
“Evan is 40 years old and is not married and doesn’t even have a girlfriend,” Johnson says. “I think he is a closet homosexual.”
McMullin, a Mormon, told the Salt Lake Tribune that he knows people wonder why he has not married, considering many in his religion marry in their early 20s. He said his 11-year career in the CIA made it difficult to date and that he hopes to marry and become a father soon.
On same-sex marriage, McMullin said he believes marriages between a man and a woman are best for society but he respects the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage.
Williams’ call is a “false and revolting” call that “smears Evan McMullin’s private life,” his campaign strategist Joel Searby said in a statement.
“Donald Trump has mainstreamed and normalized white nationalists, xenophobes, and bigots of all descriptions,” Searby said.
Trump has faced criticism in the past for retweeting posts from the accounts of white supremacists and failing to immediately denounce the support of former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.
Johnson is among the many white supremacists who have credited Trump with invigorating their cause.
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