Last week senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway came under fire for referring to a Bowling Green "massacre” or "attack" — an incident that never happened — to defend his controversial executive order temporarily halting immigration and refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations.
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Although she later said she misspoke, the Feb. 2 interview wasn’t the first time Conway made the reference.
Cosmopolitan.com is reporting that she also made inaccurate comments about attacks in Bowling Green as early as Sunday, Jan. 29, when she said President Barack Obama implemented a similar action in 2011.
“He did. It’s a fact,” Conway said in remarks not initially published by Cosmopolitan.com. “Why did he do that? He did that for exactly the same reasons. He did that because 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.”
And in a Jan. 29 interview with TMZ, Conway said two Iraqi men were the “masterminds” behind a “Bowling Green attack” on American troops.
“President Obama suspended the Iraq refugee program for six months in 2011, and no one certainly covered — I think nobody noticed,” she told TMZ. “He did that because, I assume, 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.”
In response to criticism of her citing a nonexistent Bowling Green attack or massacre, Conway released a statement, explaining that she misspoke.
“I meant to say masterminds or terrorists and not massacre,” Conway said in the statement. “It does not detract from the evil they perpetrated and the evil that others may wish to perpetrate if they lie about why they are here.”
Her comments about Bowling Green began garnering attention shortly after her interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews aired Thursday night.
“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,” Conway told Matthews. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
She later said she was referring to the “Bowling Green terrorists” ABC News first reported on in 2013.
The story was about two Iraqi refugees who plotted to attack Americans and who later admitted in court to attacking U.S. troops in Iraq. The two refugees lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but they never committed a massacre or any attacks in Bowling Green, as Conway said.