- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 12, 2016

A victory parade being planned in North Carolina by members of a Ku Klux Klan chapter in reaction to Donald Trump’s election is drawing criticism from local Republican leaders and the president-elect’s inner circle.

The chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party and the spokeswoman behind Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign each responded negatively Friday to reports that the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan plan to hold a “Victory Klavalkade Klan Parade” early next month in the Tar Heel State.

“We are disgusted and condemn this extremist ideology and associated actions in the strongest possible terms,” N.C. GOP Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement, CNN reported.

“These acts and thought processes are no reflection of the heartbeat of this great country and are counter to the efforts to make America great again. We stand with the Democratic Party in calling these out-of-state troublemakers to go home,” he added.

Hope Hicks, Mr. Trump’s campaign spokeswoman, similarly condemned the group’s plans in a statement published by CNN late Friday.

“Mr. Trump and his team continue to disavow these groups and individuals and strongly condemn their message of hate,” she said.

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are considered “perhaps the most active Klan group in the United States today” by the Anti-Defamation League, and deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The group announced on its website earlier this week that it plans to celebrate Mr. Trump’s election with a parade slated to take place Dec. 3 at an undisclosed location within the state.

The plans appeared above an image of the president-elect and the words “Trump = Trump’s Race United My People” first spotted on the group’s website after the Republican candidate defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Tuesday in their race to the White House. As of Saturday afternoon, however, Mr. Trump’s name and information about the event have disappeared from its homepage.

The Loyal White Knights boast upwards of 200 members across the country, according to the ADL, but conducts its operations largely out of Pelham, N.C., near the Virginia state line. Repeated attempts to reach the group for comment have been unsuccessful.

Former Klan leader David Duke — who ran unsuccessfully this year for a U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana — and a newspaper affiliated with the KKK, The Crusader, each supported Mr. Trump’s White House bid prior to his election. Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign denounced their support in both instances. 

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