FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – In an exclusive interview, the Imperial Wizard of the KKK told NewsChannel 15 on Monday that the Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, has blood on his hands after the violence and chaos that erupted in his city during a white nationalist rally.
After days of chaos and death in Charlottesville, Virginia, the governor has asked every elected official to speak up. “Don’t hide. Be strong and do the right thing. Tell white supremacists, tell the neo-Nazis, tell the KKK, tell them all – we’ve had enough of it,” Governor Terry McAuliffe said.
Richard Preston, the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, told NewsChannel 15, though, that antifascist group Antifa started the violence. “Nobody was in conflict until Antifa showed up and started swinging.”
Preston was at the rally but he said not as member of the Klan, he said they were there as ‘patriots.’ “We didn’t go as the Klan. We didn’t go there to create havoc and fight. We went there to protect a monument.”
The rally was held by white nationalists and others who opposed a plan to remove from a Charlottesville park of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
According to Preston, everything was peaceful at first. He said as more people showed up, police weren’t doing anything and he boldly blamed the mayor for the violence that ensued.
“They’re being told not to do their job by the mayor,” Preston told NewsChannel 15. “That mayor is now responsible for everything that took place. Every person that was hurt. Every person that died. All of it.”
Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer confidently spoke on town’s strength, saying they’ve historically made it through bigotry and hate. “It is brought here by outsiders and it’s brought here by people who belong in the trash heap of history with these ideas.”
Preston and his group left when a State of Emergency was declared but as he graphically explained, he didn’t take it as a defeat. “When they claim a State of Emergency, everybody had to leave, there was no point of us staying. Unite the Right people didn’t start this but they ended it because there was a lot of Antifa bleeding.”
But he said he doesn’t condone what police say James Fields did, calling him ‘an idiot.’ Fields is charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he drove into a crowd of people at the rally, fatally injuring one woman and hurting 19 others.
“It’s wrong. You do not attack innocence. These people did nothing wrong to have a car driven through them. So, no, I do not condone what he did one bit.”
Governor McAuliffe also talked about the hatred in the town. “Get out of our country. You are not wanted here. You are dividing us.” Preston responded by saying the world is divided into left and right ‘because of politicians like him’ and a civil war between the two is on the surface.
As memorials are held and the town tries to pick up the pieces, Preston mentioned more possible monument moving; he thinks all of this was just the start of more to come.