In mid-March 2016, purported Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard William Quigg told several media outlets that he and his contemporaries had switched their presidential candidate of choice from Republican front-runner Donald Trump to Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton:
We want Hillary Clinton to win. She is telling everybody one thing, but she has a hidden agenda. She’s telling everybody what they want to hear so she can get elected, because she’s Bill Clinton’s wife, she’s close to the Bushes. Once she’s in the presidency, she’s going to come out and her true colors are going to show. Border policies are going to be put in place. Our second amendment rights that she’s saying she’s against now, she’s not against. She’s just our choice for the presidency.
Although this information was widely disseminated on social media as straightforward fact, all sources pointed back to a 14 March 2016 article from the UK’s Telegraph in which Quigg had purportedly revealed his new pro-Clinton agenda. However, it didn’t take much of a skeptical eye to conclude that Quigg was likely pulling the news outlet’s leg:
He was unwilling to disclose how he learned of Mrs Clinton’s “hidden agenda”.
“I cannot reveal my sources,” he said. “It’s my opinion — if you know what I mean, wink, wink. I don’t want her to come back and say I’m slandering her.”
Mr Quigg warmly endorsed the Republican candidate’s plan to ban Muslims from the US and to expel 11 million illegal immigrants … Asked why he was not therefore supporting Mr Trump, Mr Quigg replied: “We don’t like his hair. We think it’s a toupee. He won’t do what he says he will do. He says he’s going to build a 20-foot high fence along with border with Mexico and make them pay. How’s he going to do that?”
Professor Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino said as much to The Telegraph about the claim:
Prof Levin, a former New York police officer, was sceptical of Mr Quigg’s renunciation. “Based on his past statements, it doesn’t appear highly credible that he has changed his effusive allegiance to Donald Trump,” he said. “The timing seems suspect. I think this is a function of not wanting to undermine the Trump campaign [by openly endorsing it].”
So while it’s true that The Telegraph reported (and other outlets disseminated) Quigg’s claim that the KKK was now supporting Hillary Clinton and had donated $20,000 to her campaign, that assertion was widely deemed not to be credible by sources familiar with such groups. Moreover, Quigg neither presented proof of his claims nor discussed them seriously.
Tait, Robert. “The KKK Leader Who Says He Backs Hillary Clinton.”
The Telegraph. 14 March 2016.