LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell issued a statement Wednesday morning, blasting white supremacist and KKK groups ahead of a Lexington rally planned by groups to protest the relocation of Confederate landmarks.

The statement is as follows:

"The white supremacist, KKK, and neo-nazi groups who brought hatred and violence to Charlottesville are now planning a rally in Lexington. Their messages of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome in America.

We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred. There are no good neo-nazis, and those who espouse their views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms. We all have a responsibility to stand against hate and violence, wherever it raises its evil head."

The rally would be in response to Mayor Jim Gray's proposal to remove two Confederate statues from the lawn of Lexington's former courthouse. Gray is taking steps to move statues of John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge to the city's Veterans Park. 

"Traditionalist Worker Party" founder Matthew Heimbach told WKRC in Cincinnati that he and other white supremacists are considering having their next protest in Lexington over the statues. 

The Lexington-Herald Leader reported that the Heimbach and his supporters are considering a lawsuit to block the removal of the Confederate-era monuments.

Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard has been in contact with the police chief in Charlottesville to discuss safety issues, according to the New York Times. The chief spoke with the paper and said law enforcement will be ready.  

"You'll have people feeling passionate wanting to come in, but you'll also have professional protesters who want to come in and fight," he said. "We'll be prepared for them also.

Heimbach made headlines in Louisville during the presidential campaign.  He pleaded guilty in July to disorderly conducted after admitting he shoved a female protester at a political rally for then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump. He was fined $145 and sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was conditionally discharged for two years. He was ordered to have no contact with the protester. 

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