Gavin McInnes, the founder of the "Proud Boys" — a self-described “Western chauvinist” organization — quit the group Wednesday "in all capacities" and "forever," a day after the FBI designated it "extremist." McInnes released a video Wednesday saying his exit would help a group of members facing serious legal trouble.

McInnes called the Proud Boys “the greatest fraternal organization in the world” and said he felt sorry to leave the group. In his final appearance as the group's public face, McInnes argued he "was never the leader, only the founder." His decision to quit came as lawyers told him disassociating himself from the group could help "alleviate sentencing" for nine members of the group who were arrested by the New York Police Department in October.

Several members of the group were arrested following an Oct. 12 brawl in New York after McInnes gave a speech at the Metropolitan Republican Club on the Upper East Side. A fight broke out between the Proud Boys and a group of Antifa members who were on the scene to protest McInnes’s talk.

McInnes said, while he was following the lawyers' advice, he was doing "all of this reluctantly,” blaming "terrible journalism, rumors and lies" for describing the Proud Boys as white supremacists.

"The Left needed to provide an example of a right-wing mob. In other words, the DNC needed the story, the Antifa happily did their bidding and the media was only too happy to get it out there," he said.

McInnes, who also co-founded the now-mainstream Vice Media, denied any ties to the so-called Alt-Right in his video.

"This whole idea of white nationalism and white supremacy is a cruck. Why are we talking about this so much? Such people do not exist," McInnes said.

A report from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state from July 5 stated: "The FBI has warned local law enforcement that the Proud Boys are actively recruiting in the Pacific Northwest and that some in the group have contributed to the escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses."

McInnes slammed the FBI's profiling, arguing the Proud Boys have "no agenda" and "there is no recruitment," and added "we are not a gang."

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that tracks hate groups, classifies the Proud Boys' ideology as "general hate."

“McInnes himself has ties to the racist right and has contributed to hate sites like and American Renaissance, both of which publish the work of white supremacists and so-called 'race realists.' He even used Taki’s Magazine — a far-right publication whose contributors include Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor — to announce the founding of the Proud Boys. McInnes plays a duplicitous rhetorical game: rejecting white nationalism and, in particular, the term ‘alt-right’ while espousing some of its central tenets. For example, McInnes has himself said it is fair to call him Islamophobic," SPLC stated on its website.

Gavin McInnes
Gavin McInnes attends "Creative Control" New York Premiere at Sunshine Landmark on March 3, 2016, in New York City. Getty Images/Slaven Vlasic