Local mayor corrects Trump campaign manager's reference to non-existent 'Bowling Green Massacre'

The city of Bowling Green in Kentucky has been at the centre of the news because of a non-existent massacre Kellyanne Conway claimed happened there.

Now the mayor has had his say – and it seems he was in forgiving mood.

Yes, according to Mayor Bruce Wilkerson, Conway, one of Donald Trump’s key advisers, simply misspoke.

It’s a pretty big bit of misspeaking though. Conway claimed in an interview with MSNBC: “Two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalised and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. It didn’t get covered.”

Of course, the Bowling Green massacre never happened.

Conway, famous for coining the phrase “alternative facts” in an interview about the inauguration crowds, later said she had meant to refer to two Iraqi refugees who had been arrested in the city in 2011 – not, incidentally, related to any attack in the US.

While the mayor of Bowling Green didn’t see it as a big deal, not everybody was so forgiving.

The claim came as the Trump administration continues to take criticism for its travel ban, focusing on seven predominantly Muslim countries.

As for Conway herself, she chose to tell everyone that she was rising above it.

Her description of the 2011 Obama administration policy as a ban was also a mischaracterisation, which she did not correct.

Mr Obama never banned Iraqi refugees or other Iraqi travellers from coming to the United States. His administration did slow down the processing for Iraqis seeking special immigrant visas, which are given to translators and interpreters who worked with the US in that country.

The slowdown was prompted by the May 2011 arrest of two men in Kentucky charged with plotting to send weapons and money to al-Qaida operatives abroad.

Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi were mistakenly admitted to the US as Iraqi refugees in 2009 and resettled in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Alwan and Hammadi are in prison after pleading guilty to plotting attacks inside the US.

According to US state department data, 9,388 Iraqi refugees were admitted to America during the 2011 budget year. The data also show that Iraqi refugees were admitted every month during the 2011 calendar year.

In addition, more than 7,800 Iraqis were allowed into the United States on non-immigrant visas, including tourists, during the 2011 budget year.


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