Hillary Clinton discussed the Orlando nightclub massacre and gun control measures she wants to pursue in the White House on Monday with the father of the Orlando killer seated behind her in the audience.
During her rally in Kissimmee, Florida, Clinton expressed solidarity with the Orlando community, still reeling from the terrorist attack carried out by Omar Mateen on June 12 that killed 49 people, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. His father Seddique, a Democrat and Taliban sympathizer, was spotted sitting behind her at the rally and told WPTV afterwards that Clinton was his choice for president over Republican Donald Trump. He even showed the station a sign he made that laid out the reasons for his support.
Clinton’s campaign said it was unaware Mateen was in attendance.
Here are Clinton’s full statements on both subjects at the rally.
“You know, Bill [Nelson] and I were in Orlando about two weeks ago, and we had a chance to sit down with Mayor Dyer, other elected officials, members of the clergy, of the brave police officers who rushed into the Pulse nightclub massacre to save lives, met with some of the surgeons who were there in the hospital to receive the wounded, and I just have to tell you how grateful I am for the leadership and the people of Orlando and central Florida for your love and compassion. And I know how many people, family members, loved ones and friends are still grieving, and I want them to know that we will be with you. We will be with you as you rebuild your lives, as you rebuild hope for the future, because we can’t ever let that kind of hatred and violence break the spirit, break the soul of any place in America.”
On gun control:
“We’re going to keep our country safe, and yes, we’re going to go after the gun lobby and try to get common-sense gun safety measures. Now, as I said in my convention speech, because I know there are a lot of hunters, there’s a lot of collectors, I understand that. I come from a family that had guns. I understand that, so here’s what I want you to know. We are not going to repeal the Second Amendment. We are not going to take anybody’s gun away. We are going to try to prevent somebody who shouldn’t have a gun from shooting you or somebody that you care about.”