COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The head of South Carolina’s Law Enforcement Division said his office was left in the dark about threats made against Gov. Henry McMaster.
On Wednesday, national news broke of the South Carolina governor being the target of at least one alleged conspirator tied to efforts to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
SLED Chief Mark Keel told WIS the FBI did not inform his office about the threat to the governor, or about the arrest of one of the alleged conspirators in Columbia earlier in October.
“It’s incomprehensible to me as to why we would not have known about this,” Keel said.
He said the FBI did apologize to him but has not given an explanation as to why the office was not notified.
Keel said he was told the local FBI office was not aware of the threat, either.
A federal affidavit connected to the Gov. Whitmer case states Barry Croft Jr. used his Facebook page to discuss targeting Gov. McMaster.
It reads in part that on May 3, Croft wrote in a message, “I’m going... With sword,” with the FBI stating Croft planned to come to Columbia and target McMaster.
On May 4, it states Croft wrote, “I’ll be in Columbia, SC on Friday. They say they want their Governor in custody.”
Read more from the affidavit below.
The governor’s office declined to comment.
The Columbia branch of the FBI has not returned a request for comment, while attempts to reach a national spokesperson for the FBI were not successful.
State representatives from both sides of the aisle said they were shocked that McMaster was targeted but grateful he was okay.
Rep. Seth Rose (D-Columbia) called the news of McMaster’s targeting a “reminder.”
“There’s a lot of individuals out there that want to wreak havoc, want to do harm. Obviously, when you’re an elected official and you’re in the public eye and you’re making decisions, there’s the risk there will be crazy people out there that want to do crazy things,” he said.
Rep. Russell Fry (R-Horry County) called the targeting “abhorrent.”
“These types of activities sometimes do happen, regardless of party affiliation we need to take them very seriously, and the security of people who serve the public very seriously,” he said.