Seddique Mateen Visits White House; Meets with President Obama-Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

Seddique Mateen, the father of Orlando terrorist attacker Omar Mateen, visited the White House and met with President Obama’s staff.

The Truth:

We haven’t seen anything proving that Seddique Mateen met with President Obama or administration officials at the White House.

That rumor started with Downstream Politics in an article appearing under the headline, “Orlando Killer’s Father Held Meetings at the White House.” The story, which was quickly shared nearly 54,000 times on Facebook, begins:

Seddique Mateen, father of the Orlando killer and outspoken supporter of the Taliban, has also been a guest at Obama’s White House and Hillary’s State Department.  On his Facebook page – which has since been deleted – the senior Mateen publishes photos and makes it sound as though he were meeting with senior staff. But who knows?

The article is based purely on speculation about Seddique Mateen’s Facebook posts, and it even concludes with the catchall disclaimer, “but who knows?”

The article uses screen grabs of photos that Seddique Mateen posted of himself posing outside of a door marked “State Department” and “Committee on Foreign Affairs.” That’s flimsy proof that he held meetings with high-ranking officials.

Seddique Mateen also posted pictures of himself with Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel and Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (who chairs the Committee on Foreign Affairs). Royce said in a statement that he had a “brief, inconsequential” meeting with Seddique Mateen:

“About a year and a half ago, we had a brief and inconsequential meeting. I routinely meet with Afghan-Americans, and I vaguely recall a discussion about the issue of Afghanistan-Pakistan relations.”

A spokesperson for Rangel, meanwhile, said the congressman was stopped in the hallway by Seddique and was asked for a photo — but the two men never had a meeting.

Given that there’s no evidence that Seddique Mateen met with President Obama or administration officials, we’re calling this one unproven.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 06/22/2016

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