Seddique Mir Mateen, the father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, attended a Hillary Clinton rally in Kissimmee, Florida, on Monday.
Seddique Mateen – whose son Omar, 29, killed 49 people and wounded dozens more in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history – was seen sitting among the crowd behind Clinton as she spoke on stage about the massacre. The rally was held not far from the site of the June shooting, the popular gay nightclub Pulse.
Seddique Mateen spoke with NBC West Palm Beach affiliate WPTV after the rally, telling the outlet he was there to support Clinton. “Hillary Clinton is good for United States versus Donald Trump, who has no solutions,” he said.
“I wished that my son joined the Army and fought ISIS,” he added. “That would be much better.” He also said he has been “cooperating with the federal government.”
Asked whether the Clinton campaign knew in advance that he was attending the rally, Seddique Mateen replied, “It’s a Democratic party so everyone can join.”
The Clinton campaign told ABC News in a statement Tuesday: “The rally was a 3,000-person, open-door event for the public. This individual wasn’t invited as a guest and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event.”
At the rally, Clinton paid tribute to the Orlando shooting victims and their loved ones, saying, “I know how many people, families, loved ones, and friends are still grieving, and we will be with you as you rebuild your lives.”