Fact Check: NO Evidence Arkansas Airport Executive Killed In Shootout With ATF Was Tied To Hillary Clinton

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: NO Evidence Arkansas Airport Executive Killed In Shootout With ATF Was Tied To Hillary Clinton No Connection

Was Bryan Malinowski, executive director of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, connected to Hillary Rodham Clinton in some way? No, that's not true: Besides having worked for an airport that bears her name, Malinowski -- who died from his wounds from a shootout with federal agents -- had no known tie to the former first lady and presidential candidate. According to the ATF Malinowski was under suspicion of illegally selling guns when the shootout happened during a search that took place at his home.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on X, formerly known as Twitter, on March 20, 2024. The post opened:

The Body Count Surrounding Hillary Clinton Keeps going up... The Executive Director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport in Arkansas was shot in the Head by Federal Agents after they Said He Fired Upon Them

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Screenshot 2024-03-22 at 8.15.59 AM.png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Fri Mar 22 16:16:08 2024 UTC)

The post included a link to a Daily Mail article (archived here) that reported Malinowski was injured at his Little Rock home on March 19, 2024, after exchanging fire with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The agents were attempting to execute a warrant.

In an undated statement, reported by media on March 21, 2024, Bill Walker, chair of the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission, announced that Malinowski had died. Walker wrote:

With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of our executive director Bryan Malinowski. Bryan was a 16-year employee of the airport. Under his leadership, our airport has experienced significant growth and success, expanding services and offerings to our community and state. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Bryan's wife, Maer, loved ones and friends.

According to Malinowski's work biography (archived here), he joined the airport in 2008 as director of properties, planning and development, and was promoted to deputy director in 2009. Malinowski became executive director in 2019.

The airport was renamed Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in 2012, in honor of the former president and his wife.

Apart from having worked at an airport that bears the Clinton name, Malinowski is not known to have any ties to Hillary Rodham Clinton. The post on X offered no evidence in support of its claim.

According to an affidavit (archived here) for the ATF's application for a search warrant, Malinowski was under suspicion of illegally selling guns. He purchased more than 150 firearms between May 2021 and February 2024 -- six were recovered in the commission of a crime; three more were recovered through undercover purchases by ATF, the bureau's affidavit read.

The affidavit's only mention of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport was in the context of saying where Malinowski worked and where he had been observed. There was no suggestion that the ATF investigation was in any way related to his work as executive director there, much less to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims about Hillary Rodham Clinton can be found here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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