MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts and Kristen Welker attempted to downplay the fact the father of the Orlando terrorist attack perpetrator was seated directly behind Hillary Clinton at a recent campaign rally in Florida.
Seddique Mateen, father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, attended Clinton’s rally.
MSNBC covered the story this way: Roberts introduced Welker, “Kristen, we’re going to get to the Zika portion of the Clinton visit in just a moment but the father of the Pulse Nightclub shooter was seen at Clinton’s campaign stop yesterday, and I know you have reaction from the Clinton camp to that.” (RELATED: Orlando Shooter’s Dad Goes To Hillary Rally, Has A Blast)
Welker then read off the statement provided to MSNBC from the Clinton campaign: “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.” (RELATED: Like Father, Like Son: Orlando Terrorist’s Father Expressed Support For Afghan Taliban)
Welked then said, “Now, I attended that event. I can tell you that Secretary Clinton talked about the Orlando shooting, the extent to which she wants to try to prevent tragedies like that from happening again. And Omar Mateen’s father was essentially sitting behind her.”
“He was interviewed by some local TV stations, one asking him well what were you thinking when Secretary Clinton started talking about the Orlando shooting, and he said, look, we have been cooperating with investigators and then he made the point that he has every right to be there, just like anyone else who lives here,” Welker said. “But [it is] certainly getting a lot of attention here today, Thomas.”
“Yeah, absolutely. And being right over her shoulder there, behind her on her left-hand side, visible, and also, again, being chased down by reporters to give comment about why he would attend. Very interesting, and certainly a reflection of the Clinton camp to respond so quickly about what that means,” Roberts commented before providing further coverage for the Clinton campaign. “We know she went and laid flowers at that memorial I think on another campaign trip with you in Orlando not that long ago.”
“Well, that’s right. And this is something that she has been talking about, and on the day the shooting happened, she was obviously very quick to respond to talk about the need for tighter gun controls, to try to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Welker said. “And that’s, of course, been a big hot-button issue throughout this campaign.”
“It’s one that she talked about yesterday when she spoke in Kissimmee, Florida, one I anticipate she will continue to talk about,” Welker added. “This is obviously a critical swing state, Thomas. So this is one of what we anticipate to be several trips in the coming weeks and months ahead of election day.”
Roberts then said, “But the biggest pressing concern right now for Floridians, Zika.”