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Bowling Green Mayor Responds to Kellyanne Conway ‘Massacre’ Misstatement

Counselor to President Kellyanne Conway listens during the daily White House briefing.

Counselor to President Kellyanne Conway listens during the daily White House briefing. Evan Vucci / AP Photo


Connecting state and local government leaders

“We appreciate the clarification,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson.

The mayor of Bowling Green, Kentucky responded politely Friday after a top counselor to President Trump referred to a terrorist incident in the city that never actually took place.

During an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Kellyanne Conway on Thursday mentioned how “two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.” Conway made the remarks as she defended executive action taken by Trump to restrict people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

The trouble with her comments is that terrorists did not carry out a massacre in Bowling Green.

Two Iraqi citizens who had been living in the city were sentenced to federal prison in 2013 after they attempted to send weapons and money to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, with the intent of killing U.S. soldiers, according to a statement the U.S. Department of Justice issued at that time. The two men also admitted using improvised explosive devices against American soldiers in Iraq, the department said.

Conway clarified her remarks Friday morning via Twitter, saying that she “meant to say  ‘Bowling Green terrorists.’”

Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson issued a statement on Friday about the episode. “I understand during a live interview how one can misspeak and we appreciate the clarification,” he said.

The city, meanwhile, used its official municipal Twitter account to urge people to visit Bowling Green, a city of roughly 63,000 residents , located about 65 miles north of Nashville, Tennessee.

“All is well,” read a tweet from the account, which featured a photo of flowers in the city’s Fountain Square Park. “Come visit us in our fine city. #BowlingGreenMassacre.”

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Bill Lucia is a Senior Reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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