Rep. King Mentions 'Hatred That Islamists Have Toward Gays and Transgenders'

By Susan Jones | June 13, 2016 | 5:46am EDT
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee. (AP File Photo)

( - "I think people don't often realize the hatred that Islamists have toward gays and transgenders. So that certainly could be an added factor," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

King was invited on the show to comment on the breaking news out of Orlando -- the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 50 people.

He said "hatred" is "definitely" one of the factors that law enforcement is looking into.

"To be honest, my first thought this morning was that it was not Islamist, that it was somebody carrying out an attack because it was a gay club. But in this instance, you may have both. An Islamist who wants to show their hatred of gays and as probably what they see -- you know, the decadence of American society."

Early on Sunday morning, an FBI agent said the mass shooter may have had Islamic leanings. And by Monday morning, Islamic State radio was calling the suspect, Omar Mateen, "one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America."

King said the war on terrorism is going to be a "long, complicated" one. "And the American people have to be part of that, but not in a way which interferes with their regular lives. They just have to be alert and be aware and have faith in law enforcement and the intelligence community."

MRC Store