When TV host Megyn Kelly spoke with Pastor Robert White of Peace of Mind Church in St. Louis, Missouri, last night, she expected him to be heavily critical of civil rights leader Al Sharpton, but the response she received was entirely different.
Honoree Megyn Kelly attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 most influential people in the world, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME)
After airing comments Sharpton recently uttered about the situation in Ferguson, Kelly introduced White, asking, "You don't think Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson is helping. Why?"
But rather than criticize Sharpton as he has reportedly done in the past, White said that he appreciates the "invaluable support" that the controversial civil rights leader has provided as he and others attempt to keep the peace on the streets of Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown's death.
While Kelly commended the pastor's efforts to keep the peace, she voiced her confusion over his purported change in tone.
"I just want to make sure I understand what you're saying about Rev. Al Sharpton, because you spoke with our producers earlier and said that you believe that Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton were only here for a photo op and you were critical of them," she said.
But White noted that he sat down with Sharpton and that the two have found areas of agreement on "strategy" moving forward.
"And let me guess, those strategies include you not criticizing him anymore," Kelly said through a grin.
White said that he's intent on keeping outside agitators contained and seemed to indicate that he and Sharpton are on the same page on that front. But Kelly wasn't willing to let the issue die so easily.
"One of the problems is, [Sharpton's] been accused of being an outside agitator because he has come in and said things like ... Michael Brown was posing no deadly threat," she responded. "He doesn't know whether Michael Brown was posing a deadly threat or not."
White, though, said that he believes Officer Darren Wilson "is guilty."
"He's guilty of the unrest that has been caused by his actions," he said, with Kelly pressing him to explain how he can be so sure. White continued, "Well, I know that because six shots, two to the head over an unarmed suspect who put his hands up."
Kelly, though, vehemently disagreed.
"You cannot stand up and assert as fact as [Sharpton] did that Michael Brown posed no deadly threat," she said. "If you had the answers, if Al Sharpton did, if the governor did, we wouldn't need these 12 people to convene tomorrow and tell us whether this case should proceed."
Watch the exchange below: