New information has emerged showing that counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway has repeatedly made false claims about a nonexistent terrorist attack which she called the Bowling Green massacre. Conway’s comments first sparked controversy after a February 2 interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in which she attempted to justify President Trump’s Muslim ban by citing a terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which never happened.
Kellyanne Conway: “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. Most people don’t know that, because it didn’t get covered.”
After widespread criticism, Conway said she misspoke when she said “massacre,” and that she intended to refer to the case of two Iraqi men living in Bowling Green who were arrested in 2011 on charges of having attempted to send money and weapons to al-Qaeda in Iraq. Their arrests led the Obama administration to implement a more extensive screening process for Iraqi refugees, but not to impose a ban on Iraqi resettlement. However, it’s now clear that Conway did not misspeak at all, as video and quotes of her making the same claims in two previous interviews have surfaced. In an interview with Cosmopolitan.com on January 29, she falsely claimed: “Two Iraqi nationals came to this country, joined Isis, traveled back to the Middle East to get trained and refine their terrorism skills, and come back here, and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre of taking innocent soldiers’ lives away.” This is not true. On that same day, Conway did an interview with TMZ in which she made the same false claim.
Kellyanne Conway: “The fact is that it was President Obama and the Congress who identified these seven countries, so President Trump is just following on. President Obama suspended the Iraq refugee program for six months in 2011, and no one certainly covered—I think nobody noticed. He did that because—I assume because there were two Iraqis who came here, got radicalized, joined ISIS, and then were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers.”
Senior adviser to the Democratic National Committee Zac Petkanas said in response, “The Trump administration was so desperate to sell their increasingly unpopular and likely illegal anti-Muslim ban that they actually made up a terrorist attack to scare people into acceptance.” Media watchdogs have called on cable networks to stop booking Kellyanne Conway for interviews because of these lies.