Hillary Rodham Clinton is making big headlines this morning for her appearance last night in Kissimmee, Florida, a community near Orlando, not entirely for what she said but for who was in the audience right behind her, captured by WPTV News.
Seddique Mateen, wearing a red cap and spotted later carrying a sign supporting Clinton, is the father of Omar Mateen. Omar was the man responsible for the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub earlier this year. Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others were wounded. The incident provided a launch pad for renewed gun control demands, including increased calls for a revived ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
Did anyone ask the elder Mateen what he was doing at a Clinton rally? Indeed, someone did. WPTV reporter Tory Dunnan caught up with Mateen after the event and according to her report, he insisted that “Hillary Clinton is good for United States versus Donald Trump, who has no solutions.” The video may be watched here.
And here’s the capper: According to reporter Dunnan, “Mateen also told me he supported everything Hillary Clinton had to say, especially her gun control measures, saying he wants the U.S. to be a safer place.”
At one point during his interview with Dunnan, Mateen held up a sign supporting Clinton that claimed, among other things, that she is “Good for National Security.”
Mateen told the reporter that he wished his son had joined the Army to fight and destroy ISIS. “That would be much better,” he said.
He professed a love for the United States, and wondered why anyone should be surprised that he attended a Clinton rally.
Back in June, at a rally in Cleveland, Clinton told an audience, “It’s essential we stop terrorists from getting the tools they need to carry out an attack…If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn’t just be able to go buy a gun with no questions asked.”
The Pulse mass shooting not only ignited gun prohibition lobbying groups, it spurred another round of gun buying by many first-time buyers. It also sparked increased interest in firearms ownership in the gay community, with the Pink Pistols, a pro-rights organization, seeing interest in their group increase as well.