Rep. Brad Sherman (D., Calif.) and Fox Business host Charles Payne argued on Wednesday over whether it was troubling to see Seddique Matten attend a Hillary Clinton rally this week, standing behind the Democratic presidential candidate.
Mateen is a Taliban sympathizer and the father of Omar Mateen, the terrorist who killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub in June.
"At the very least, sir, you have to admit the optics are really bad," Payne said.
"Your comments are just ridiculous," Sherman said.
Sherman’s response prompted both men to debate over how Mateen came to stand behind Clinton at one of her rallies. Sherman argued that Mateen got to stand behind Clinton because he was probably one of the first to arrive at the venue. Payne said the Clinton campaign must have known he was there because often the people who stand behind a candidate are vetted beforehand.
"This is a man who has thrusted himself into the public spotlight on more than one occasion, and people know that whatever his sickness is, that perhaps he passed onto his son. He likes the limelight," Payne said. "Now the fact that no one caught him, I just say it’s a big mistake for Hillary Clinton."
"That is the desperate line of a campaign in free fall, a campaign that flirts with David Duke supporters and seeks racist votes and then tries to conflate that with who sneaks into the rally," Sherman said, referring to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
"If David Duke was standing behind Donald Trump at a rally like that, if David Duke, since you brought him up, was standing at a rally with Donald Trump, you would lose the rest of your hair right now. You would set yourself on fire," Payne said. "The mainstream media would run with it and say Donald Trump knew it and was deliberate."
Sherman added that Payne was deliberately conflating the situation to defend Trump, who Sherman also criticized heavily. Payne wanted to make a bet with Sherman that Clinton’s campaign would not allow something like this to happen again.
"I will make a wager with you: it will never happen again because it does not look good for the candidate and is probably not safe for the candidate either," Payne said.
"We rely on metal detectors for safety and the Secret Service," Sherman said.