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Father Of Orlando Nightclub Shooter Attends Clinton Rally

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The father of the Orlando gay nightclub shooter was spotted at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton in central Florida.

Seddique Mateen was standing in a crowd behind Clinton during the Monday night event in Kissimmee, south of Orlando.

Mateen told news outlets after the rally that he loves "the United States.''

A Clinton campaign official told CBS News Tuesday that they did not know Mateen was there.


"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," the official said.

Omar Mateen fatally shot 49 people and injured another 53 at Pulse nightclub on June 12. He was killed by law enforcement officers following a three-hour standoff.

The father says his family has been cooperating with investigators.

During her speech, Clinton expressed support for the survivors of the attack and the loved ones of those killed.

"I know how much people, family members, loved ones and friends are still grieving and I want them to know that we will be with you, as you rebuild your lives, as you rebuild hope for the future," she said. "We can't ever let that kind of hatred and violence break the spirit, break the soul of any place in America."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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