In a sit-down interview with a Richmond news station, the Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan said Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is his candidate for President.
The KKK leader, identified by WWBT only as “Imperial Wizard,” also insisted his organization is not a hate group, telling the station’s black anchor, “We don’t hate anyone.”
Asked who he was supporting in the 2016 race, the wizard replied: “I think Donald Trump would be best for the job.”
“The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes in, we believe in. We want our country to be safe,” he said.
The leader went on to say if Trump were to drop out, he would back Ohio Gov. John Kasich before Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), saying Cruz “is not an American citizen” because he was born in Canada.
WWBT’s interview opens with anchor Chris Thomas, trailed by a sheriff’s deputy as a precaution, driving to meet with Klansmen in a remote location in a national forest, because Thomas said the leader would only be interviewed on “his turf.”
The story was spurred by the group mounting a recruitment drive in the Richmond area, dropping fliers that read “I want you for the KKK” in mailboxes and front yards, Thomas said.
While the Imperial Wizard said Obama’s presidency has been “a very good recruiting tool,” he said it’s because of Obama’s politics, not his race.
“We are not white supremacists, we’re white separatists,” the leader said on camera. “We’re not the big bad hate group people think we are.”
It’s not the first time Trump has earned the support of the KKK. Former leader David Duke endorsed the Republican in February, sparking outrage over Trump’s delayed response in distancing himself from Duke.
Watch the interview via WWBT:
Correction: This post misstated the anchor’s last name. It is Thomas. We regret the error.