Veterans Affairs official hung portrait of Ku Klux Klan’s first grand wizard in his office

Painting of Nathan Bedford Forrest hanging in VA Officer's office, obtained by ABC News

ABC NEWS — A senior official at the Veterans Affairs Department hung a painting of the first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and Confederate general in his office but removed it after some employees circulated a petition to force him to take it down.

David Thomas, a deputy director in the VA office that verifies small businesses for government contracts, never directly received complaints from his coworkers about the painting, a spokesman for the federal agency said Wednesday.

The portrait depicts Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate Army general turned inaugural KKK leader, posing on the back of a horse. The words “No Surrender” and the date 1862 are written on a title card below the painting.

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