Seddique Mateen, the father of the man who killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, was spotted behind Clinton as she spoke about the “grieving” victims’ families.
Seddique Mateen, the father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, attended Hillary Clinton’s rally in Kissimmee, Florida, on Monday, WPTV first reported.
On June 12, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, open fired in Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring 53. He was later killed at the scene of the shooting.
Seddique Mateen was spotted in the crowd just behind Clinton as she began her speech talking about the “grieving” family and friends of the Orlando shooting victims.
Clinton said that she had recently met Orlando's elected officials, “brave” police officers, and surgeons who treated the wounded after the shooting. Mateen, who appeared to be holding his cell phone up, then put on a red hat as Clinton began speaking about the attack.
“I know how many people, family members, loved ones, and friends are still grieving and I want them to know we will be with you; we will be with you as you rebuild your lives, as you rebuild hope for the future,” Clinton said, as Mateen looked on from behind her. “Because we can't ever let that can kind of hatred and violence break the spirit, break the soul of any place in America,” she said.
“Hillary Clinton is good for United States versus Donald Trump, who has no solutions,” Mateen — who carried a banner proclaiming Clinton as “good for national security” and “gun control laws” — told WPTV after the rally.
Mateen said he was “invited by the Democratic party” to attend the rally. “I'm a member. As a member I get the invitations, so there's nothing particular about it,” he told WPTV.
Responding to whether he was invited to the rally by the Clinton campaign, Mateen said, “It's a Democratic party, so everybody can join.”
When asked about his decision to attend the event near Orlando where the shooting took place, Mateen said, “I spoke a lot about that. I wish that my son joined the army and fought ISIS and destroyed ISIS. That would be much better,” he said.