Two survivors of the Islamic terror attack on Pulse nightclub say they were shocked and enraged after learning that they were in the same room as the father of shooter Omar Mateen, who attended a Hillary Clinton presidential rally in Kissimmee, Florida, on Monday.
“I opened up my Facebook and it was the first thing I saw, I was like, ‘Oh!'” Christopher Hansen said, according to WKMG.
Jacobi Ceballo, however, said he was not only surprised that Mateen attended the Clinton rally, but he was angry.
“I’m outraged,” Ceballo said. “For him to come back to Orlando, where his son created devastation, was also mind-blowing. If I would have known that, I would have not come.”
Ceballo attended the Clinton campaign rally with Hansen, who was invited by a person he assumed was from the Clinton campaign. The two were invited backstage to meet her. They took pictures with the Democratic presidential nominee.
— Moshe (@DCMoshe) August 10, 2016
In one picture, Ceballo held a sign with a Clinton campaign slogan, “Standing together.” He’s now skeptical of Clinton’s commitment to gays and questions how the Clinton campaign allowed Mateen to be placed prominently behind Clinton as she delivered her speech, paying tribute to the police officers and victims of a massacre that left 49 dead and 53 others injured.
As Breitbart News has reported, Seddique Mir Mateen, Orlando shooter Omar Mateen’s father, has supported the Taliban, has several ties to Islamist groups, said “God will punish” gays — after his son murdered dozens of them in cold blood — and reportedly helped run the radical mosque that his son had attended.
“Hillary has been supporting the LGBT community, she’s been to Pulse, you know? To find out (Mateen’s father) was there, it’s really disappointing,” Ceballo said. “I’m not happy about it at all. I feel, like, let down.”
During her speech in Kissimmee, Clinton failed to link radical Islam to the terrorist attack but did call for more gun control.
“We are going to try to prevent somebody who shouldn’t have a gun from shooting you or somebody that you care about,” Clinton said.
In spite of Mateen’s prominent placement directly behind Clinton, her campaign denies the claim that he was an invited guest.
“This individual wasn’t invited as a guest and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event,” an unnamed Clinton campaign official said in a press statement.
“I’m not upset,” Hansen told News 6. “I explained to Jacobi that (Mateen’s) [sic] is allowed to have his opinion because he is there just like everyone else, trying to show support.”
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson.