Kellyanne Conway has caused yet another uproar by referencing a non-existent terrorist attack while defending President Trump’s travel ban for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
During a Thursday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Conway specifically mentioned two Iraqi refugees and described them as the masterminds behind what she called the “Bowling Green Massacre,” saying that “most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
According to the Washington Post, it turns out the story never got covered because there was never such a terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Kentucky, by Iraqis or anyone else.
Conway tried to clarify her statement Friday in a tweet, referencing a story from 2011 in which two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green were arrested and later sentenced to federal prison for attempting to send money and weapons to al-Qaeda factions in Iraq.
According to a 2013 statement released by the Department of Justice, both men admitted to willingly playing roles in attacking U.S. troops in Iraq, but not in Bowling Green. This story was indeed covered by many news organizations, including the ABC News report linked to within Conway’s tweet.
Conway also repeated the argument that Trump’s travel ban is similar to a ban former President Obama supposedly implemented for six months in 2011.
However, such a ban was not exactly what the Obama administration put in place, the Washington Post reports. Instead, after the two Iraqis were arrested in Kentucky, the Obama administration imposed stricter and more extensive background checks on Iraqi refugees, which did significantly slow down visa approvals but did not stop them altogether.
According to State Department records, Iraqi refugee arrivals did see a dramatic decrease in 2011 compared to other years. Iraqi refugee arrivals totaled 18,251 in 2010, 6,339 in 2011 and 16,369 in 2012.