During a Thursday night interview on MSNBC, Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump's campaign manager-turned-White House counselor, cited the "Bowling Green massacre" as justification for the president's Muslim immigration ban. There was just one problem: it 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 they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” Conway told Chris Matthews on Hardball. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
One reason that story wasn't covered: there's never been a terrorist attack in Bowling Green carried out by Iraqis or anyone else.
Conway was likely referencing the 2011 indictment of two Iraqi men living in Bowling Green, KY, for using improvised explosive devices against American soldiers in Iraq and attempting to send money and weapons overseas to fund the killing of Americans. A 2013 statement from the Justice Department announced that Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 25, was sentenced to life in prison and Waad Ramadan Alwan, 31, received a 40-year prison sentence for their crimes.
(Update, 8:18 AM: Conway tweeted that she meant to say "Bowling Green terrorists" in reference to Hammadi and Alwan.)
But that incident simply doesn't fit the definition of a massacre–the men didn't carry out acts of mass violence in Kentucky.
Conway was also relying on alternative facts for her claim about Trump's ban basically just being an extension of former President Obama's policies. As The Washington Post points out, Obama officials have said they never stopped or banned Iraqi resettlement. But after the Iraqi nationals' indictment in Kentucky, the Obama administration did implement more extensive background checks for Iraqi immigrants, which slowed their arrival in the country "to a crawl," according to one report.
After the interview, "Bowling Green massacre" became the top trending topic on Twitter, prompting some users to share memories of the incident which never occurred.
You can watch Conway's remarks below: