Orlando Shooting: Gunman’s father wants to ‘challenge’ Donald Trump

Click to play video: 'Father of Orlando shooting suspect delivers message to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton'
Father of Orlando shooting suspect delivers message to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton
WATCH: In this one-on-one interview with Global's Jackson Proskow, Seddique Mateen, the father of Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mateen, delivered a message to US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton warning them to make terrorism and radicalization a top election issue – Jun 15, 2016

Donald Trump continues to face criticism over his plan to temporarily bar foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. along with accusations he’s trying to divide the public with “dangerous” rhetoric. But a new call for Trump to unify the American public is coming from a controversial source — the father of the gunman in the Orlando shooting.

“I want to challenge Mr. Trump, if he wants to talk about these issues,” Seddique Mateen told Global News, saying the country needs a “national security plan that unites the country and gets rid of terrorism.”

READ MORE: Omar Mateen’s father questions whether son planned attack on his own

Mateen’s son, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State in a 911 call prior to carrying killing 49 people at Pulse Nightclub early Sunday. But, U.S. officials haven’t found any indication he was connected to the terror group or that he was acting on its behalf.

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Although Omar Mateen was born in the U.S. and his parents immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan many years ago and have U.S. citizenship, Trump reaffirmed a campaign promise to put a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country following the mass shooting.

Seddique Mateen calls himself a politician as well and said he wants to “challenge” Trump on the issue.

“He’s talking about Muslims, Mexicans, black(s), all these minorities — and he’s married [to] an immigrant lady,” he told Global’s Jackson Proskow during an interview at his home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. “So, I’d like to challenge [Trump]. Even though I’m not in an elected position, I’m not running for any office in United States, I’d like to challenge him about this issue.”
WATCH: Seddique Mateen discusses his son and the Orlando shooting with Global’s Jackson Proskow
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After the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s comments, during a campaign stop Monday in Manchester, New Hampshire, President Barack Obama called the remarks “highly offensive” and “dangerous”.

“We’ve gone through moments in our history before when we acted out of fear and we came to regret it,” Obama told reporters. “We’ve seen our government mistreat our fellow citizens and it has been a shameful part of our history.”

“Where does this stop?” he said.

READ MORE: Orlando shooting has ‘greater impact’ for LGBT Muslims

Members of the Republican party also distanced themselves from Trump’s comments, including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

“I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles not just as a party, but as a country. And I think the smarter way to go in all respects is to have a security test and not a religious test.”

With reporting from Jackson Proskow in Port St. Lucie, Florida and files from The Associated Press.

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