Reaction from Clinton after WPTV spots Orlando shooter's father at campaign rally

Posted at 7:44 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 00:36:43-04

In not so typical Trump fashion, Donald Trump hasn't touched the story about the father of  the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter showing up at Hillary Clinton's rally in Kissimmee.

"This could be one of the smarter moments of the Trump campaign," said WPTV Political analyst Brian Crowley. "Sometimes when your opponent gets into a dicey moment or in trouble, the best thing to do is leave it alone and let that candidate swim in their own mess."

The Clinton campaign responded and said they didn't know Seddique Mateen was at the event until afterwards.

More than 24 hours after the event, Clinton distanced herself from Mateen with a statement from campaign spokesman Nick Merrill, "She disagrees with his views and disavows his support."

Watch the story below:


I asked Mateen if people in the crowd recognized him.  "I don't know. I don't see anything surprising," he said.

Crowley said he believed it was probably junior staff members or volunteers who seated Mateen right behind Clinton.

"The best campaigns manage to some degree control the people who sit behind the candidate, who make up the visual that people will see when they are watching from home," he said. "You'll often see a mix of men and women people of different races."

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His appearance is not sitting well with Pulse nightclub survivors.

"I would be outraged that our community would even want to have him in our perimeter or participate with him in any incident," said Jacobi Ceballo , a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting. "It's horrible and it's even more horrible for us survivors because we have to relive this every day."