On Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, attempted to justify the administration’s restrictions on refugee admissions and travel from several predominately Muslim countries by citing a massacre that never happened.
“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 were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green Massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered,” Conway said during an interview on MSNBC.
Conway herself more or less admitted that on Friday morning when she tweeted that she “meant to say ‘Bowling Green terrorists’” instead. In 2013, the Justice Department announced the sentencing of two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to federal prison after they confessed to attacking U.S. soldiers in Iraq and tried to assist al-Qaeda in Iraq by sending money and weapons. But that is quite different, of course, from a massacre.
Beyond what Conway said about the non-existent Bowling Green Massacre, the rest of her statement was misleading as well. As The Washington Post’s fact checker has documented, President Obama did not impose a formal six-month ban on Iraqi refugees, though there was a decline in the admission of Iraqi refugees in 2011 and the Obama administration did revamp its vetting procedures in response to the arrest of the two Iraqis, who later pled guilty to federal terrorism charges.