Disgraced Former US Rep. Mark Foley Spotted at Trump Rally

The former representative resigned after sending sexual messages to male teens.

ByJ.j. Gallagher
August 11, 2016, 1:48 AM

— -- Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned from Congress in 2006 in disgrace after sending sexually explicit messages to male teenage congressional pages, attended a rally for Donald Trump in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Wednesday.

Foley, who can be seen in the background in videos and photos of the event, raised his hand when Trump asked if the people featured in the seats directly behind the stage knew him.

"How many of you people know me?" Trump asked. "A lot of you people know me. When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign."

A longtime Republican presidential campaign advance staffer spoke with ABC News and described the seating area behind the candidate as a "tapestry" — a backdrop of people often chosen by the campaign so photos and videos from the event show wide-ranging support for the candidate.

Foley's appearance comes as Trump continues to bash Hillary Clinton after Seddique Mateen — the father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen — was seen in the audience behind her at a rally in Kissimmee, Florida, on Monday.

The Clinton campaign said that it had no prior knowledge of Sedique Mateen's presence at the rally, calling it an "open-door event for the public" and later saying she "disavows his support."

"The people behind me, they're all on television," Trump told the crowd at his Wednesday rally. "They're gonna be famous. And by the way, speaking of that, wasn't it terrible when the father of the animal that killed the wonderful people in Orlando was sitting with a big smile on his face right behind Hillary Clinton?"

After the rally Foley confirmed to MSNBC his support of Trump's presidential bid and said that the two have a longstanding relationship. "He's been a friend of mine for 30 years and one of my biggest contributors," Foley said.

According to campaign contribution records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Trump gave at least $9,500 to Foley's political campaigns over 10 years.

ABC's Adam Kelsey, Shushannah Walshe and Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.

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