The Rev. Al Sharpton poked fun at new Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday while eulogizing state Rep. Joe Neal on Monday.
The New York civil rights activist and CNN commentator told the crowd of more than 2,000 he had just come from a State House social justice protest where some of the speakers were critical of McMaster, a Richland Republican and early supporter of President Donald Trump.
“I remember a couple of years ago I was here for funerals in Charleston, and the governor at that time who we had disagreed (with), she got up and hugged me at the funeral,” Sharpton said, referring to former Gov. Nikki Haley, who attended funerals for the victims of the Emanuel A.M.E. church shooting in June 2015.
“After they hear what I said at the state capitol today, I don’t know Gov. McMaster, if you will hug me or choke me,” Sharpton continued, triggering a roar of laughter. “But we’re all right, out of respect to Joe, for the rest of the service.”
McMaster took the joke in stride. A video screen at the funeral showed him laughing alongside other state lawmakers.