Mark Foley
Former Congressman Mark Foley (red shirt middle of frame) sits in the audience as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looks back at the crowd during a rally at the BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Joe Raedle/ Getty Images

A disgraced former congressman accused of sending sexual messages to teenage boys was spotted at a Trump rally just days after the father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was seen at a Clinton rally.

Donald Trump slammed Hillary Clinton when it emerged Seddique Mateen was seated behind her and in shot of the cameras. The Republican candidate told his supporters at a Florida rally: "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?

"When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign. So when she said, 'Well, we didn't know.' He knew, they knew."

But, as Trump said those words, seated in a similar position to Mateen's father, was former congressman Mark Foley, who resigned in 2006 after being accused of sending explicit messages to young boys.

Foley was also among the people seated in camera shot who raised their hands when Trump asked the crowd if anyone knew him personally, Politico reported.

And Foley told reporters at MSNBC following the rally Trump had "been a friend of mine for 30 years and [was] one of my biggest contributors".

His presence at the event was slammed by Democrat supporters on social media – with particular reference to Trump's remarks about Mateen. Trump has not commented on the presence of Foley nor addressed Foley's statement that the pair are friends.