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Rohrabacher Statement on Orlando and Meeting with Shooter's Father

Jun 13, 2016

“Today I join with my fellow Americans in mourning the slaughter in Orlando. I also join them in their outrage and their renewed commitment to defeat and destroy the radical Islamic movement that fosters such mayhem. At the same time, we must be sure not to label all Muslims as terrorist murderers while at the same time realizing radical Islam is a primary factor in the terrorism we face today.

"Over the years I have been deeply engaged with people from Islamic countries, especially Afghanistan. In fact, my records indicate that on Nov.18, 2014, I was paid a visit by Seddique Mateen, father of the Islamic terrorist who committed the heinous mass murder in Orlando. I am regularly visited by a multiplicity of figures with various stakes in, and perspectives from, that troubled region. I simply do not recall that specific meeting, but, from what I have learned in the last hours, there is no way I associate myself with his views.

“I do my best to acquaint myself with those personalities involved and to get a better understanding of their ideas and information about what’s happening. I have a long history with many of the actors in Afghanistan, indeed a personal relationship with the current leadership of that country. It appears Mr. Mateen labors under delusions about his own power and influence. He is unmistakably an estranged individual there. We may say that his son, likewise, was an unhinged individual in this country, but unfortunately he was all too hinged to the Islamic State advocates of a caliphate in America, who have declared war on us.

“I continue to be deeply concerned about the Obama administration’s unwillingness to come to grips with the full nature of the challenge we face in defeating these terrorists at home and abroad. This attack was not merely a hate crime; it was a terrorist attack motivated by radical Islamic ideology. It is long overdue for the president to take another look at how to approach this challenge. We will know he understands when he starts using the right words."

Contact: Ken Grubbs, 202-225-0145