Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, who has removed four Confederate monuments for public view, says the message they conveyed was nothing but sham.
"Really what these monuments were, were a lie," Landrieu tells Anderson Cooper in an interview to be aired on CBS News' "60 Minutes," Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
"Robert E. Lee was used as an example to send a message to the rest of the country, and to all the people that lived here, that the confederacy was a noble cause. And that's just not true."
Among the monuments removed were a statue of Gen. P.G.T Beauregard, who ordered the first shots fired in the Civil War, and a bronze figure of Lee, the Confederate Army commander, which had stood for 133 years.
"The whole point [of the monuments] was to convince people that actually they won, and even in their defeat, it was a noble cause," Landrieu says.
He adds the confederacy was anything but that.
"We were talking about millions of people enslaved, 600,000 American citizens were killed, and they were trying to destroy the country," he says.
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