Bowling Green mayor 'understands' people can misspeak

Bowling Green mayor 'understands' people can misspeak
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The mayor of Bowling Green, Ky., says he is sympathetic to people making mistakes during live television interviews.

Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGrocery store behind viral reusable bag at impeachment hearing offers 'free briefcase' promotion Watchdog report finds FBI not motivated by political bias in Trump probe GOP counsel raises eyebrows with shopping bag at impeachment hearing MORE, an adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE, is under fire for claiming on Thursday that two Iraqi refugees carried out a “massacre” in Bowling Green — something that never happened.

“I understand during a live interview how one can misspeak and we appreciate the clarification,” Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said in a statement Friday.

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Wilkerson’s statement notes Conway’s previous statement “has now been corrected,” adding “there was no massacre in Bowling Green.”

Conway mentioned the “Bowling Green massacre” on MSNBC late Thursday while defending Trump’s order halting the U.S. refugee program and banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

“I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” she said. "Most people didn’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”

Social media users pounced on Conway’s comments, mocking her over the nonexistent attack and driving the hashtag #BowlingGreenMassacre to the top of Twitter’s trending topics list.

Conway on Friday then clarified her intent was to reference the “Bowling Green terrorists” rather than any particular incident real or imagined.

“I meant to say ‘Bowling Green terrorists,’” she tweeted alongside a 2013 ABC News article providing background.

The ABC story refers to the discovery of two “al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky.”

The men prompted the FBI to investigate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) collected from war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq for fingerprints from suspected terrorists.

The pair were subsequently indicted in 2011 for allegedly attempting to send weapons to Iraq “for the purpose of killing U.S. soldiers,” and are currently serving life sentences for federal terrorism offenses.

Trump’s executive order last week imposed a 90-day ban on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Critics say the move is unconstitutional and biased against Muslims. Trump says it is needed to protect the U.S. from terrorists.