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The Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to grant marriagicenses to same-sex couples says Pope Francis told her to stay strong when the two met briefly during his visit to the United States last week.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn't deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome he had no comment on it.

In an interview with ABC, Rowan County clerk Kim Davis says they hugged during the meeting last Thursday and the pope thanked her for her courage.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail earlier this month for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In the ABC interview, which aired Wednesday morning, Davis said knowing the pope agreed with her validates her efforts.

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