Seddique Mateen, the father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, somehow had a prime seat at a Hillary Clinton rally yesterday in Kissimmee, Florida, where he cheered on the Democratic presidential nominee.
He was sitting just behind Hillary Clinton and was visible over her left shoulder wearing a red hat as she paid tribute to the police officers who responded to the scene and to those killed who were killed at the Orlando nightclub as well as their grieving families.
“I just have to tell you how grateful I am for the leadership and the people of Orlando and Central Florida for your love and compassion. And I know how many people, loved ones and friends, are still grieving. And I want them to know that we will be with you. We will be with you as you rebuild your lives, as you rebuild hope for the future, because we can’t ever let that kind of hatred and violence break the spirit, break the soul, of any place in America.”
The event mainly focused on economic issues, however.
“Not only was Mateen at the event, he found himself positioned on stage behind Clinton, so he was visible in photos and video of candidate’s speech. Mateen is recognizable, in part, because he did so many interviews after the nightclub attack,” NPR explained.
On June 12, a gunman identified by law enforcement authorities as Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub, which has primarily a gay clientele, and killed 49 patrons and wounded about 53 others in the deadliest mass shooting incident in U.S. history and the deadliest terrorist attack here since 9/11. Killed in a gunfight with cops after a three-hour standoff, Mateen was an American citizen of Afghan heritage. Omar Mateen reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS prior to the nightclub attack.
Kissimmee is about 30 minutes south of Orlando.
Outside the rally, reacting to Hillary Clinton’s remarks about the horrific Orlando incident, Seddique Mateen told a WPTV reporter (see clip below) that “We’ve been cooperating with the federal government, the FBI, and that’s about it; thank you.”
Matteen is apparently a Democrat who supports Hillary Clinton for president. In an encounter with the same reporter later that evening, Seddique Mateen claimed that “Hillary Clinton is good for United States versus Donald Trump, who has no solutions.” Based on a homemade sign, Seddique Mateen apparently is a fan of Hillary Clinton’s gun control agenda, in particular, among other things.
An immigrant from Afghanistan, Seddique Mateen added that he loves the United States and as such, no one should be surprised that he attended the rally. As a member of the Democratic Party, he received an invitation to the campaign event, he noted.
The Clinton campaign told Tory Dunnan of WPTV that Mateen was not an invited guest despite the prominent seating arrangement and that the rally was open to the public. Team Clinton added that it was unaware that Seddique Mateen was in the audience until after the event wrapped up.
It has yet to be explained, if any explanation is necessary or appropriate, how he managed to gain access to the so-called VIP area directly behind the candidate, seating for which is presumably tightly controlled by the advance team.
Clinton campaign statement part I: "This rally was a 3,000-person, open-door event for the public. This individual wasn't invited as a guest— Tory Dunnan (@ToryDunnanTV) August 9, 2016
Part II: and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event.— Tory Dunnan (@ToryDunnanTV) August 9, 2016
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Seddique Mateen is allegedly a supporter of the Taliban and made a series of videos praising the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. He has also insisted that the attack perpetrated by his son had nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with homophobia.
“The elder Mateen has been the subject of controversy in his own right, having spouted anti-American views and supported the Afghan Taliban in a bizarre shoestring YouTube talk show,” the New York Daily News noted.
"It's a Democratic party, so everyone can join,” says Orlando shooter’s father who attended Hillary rally yesterday pic.twitter.com/Mu5XCbfmZ4— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) August 9, 2016
[Photo by AP Photo/APTN]