LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Three members of Congress — two of them from Orange County — are downplaying their encounters with the father of the gunman at the Orlando gay nightclub, calling the meetings short and insignificant.
Three separate, grainy photos posted on Facebook by Seddique Mir Mateen show him standing next to Reps. Ed Royce, (R-Fullerton), Dana Rohrabacher, (R-Costa Mesa), and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y.READ MORE: COVID-19 Mortality Rate 'Shockingly' Higher For LA County's Black, Latino Men; Also Have Much Lower Rates Of Vaccination
Mateen came to the U.S. from Afghanistan three decades ago and has made a series of rambling political videos about his former homeland. He regularly taped a politics TV show in Canoga Park.
Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Monday he met with Mateen about a year and a half ago. Royce said he vaguely recalled a discussion about Afghanistan-Pakistan relations, but he described the meeting as “brief and inconsequential.”READ MORE: El Sereno Recreation Center Vaccination Site To Close Wednesday, Will Be Replaced With New East LA Site
Rohrabacher said Mateen “paid a visit” to his office in November 2014, but he doesn’t recall any specifics.
Hannah Kim, Rangel’s spokeswoman, said the congressman didn’t meet with Mateen and doesn’t remember the encounter. Kim said the photo with Rangel was taken on the day of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech in 2015 when “strangers constantly stop members for a photo in the hallways.”MORE NEWS: LAUSD Welcomes Kindergarteners, First Graders Back To 61 Elementary Schools
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