After being roundly mocked last week for citing the "Bowling Green massacre," a terror attack that never happened, as rationale for President Trump's Muslim ban, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway chalked it up to an "honest mistake."
But it turns out that Conway has referred to the fake Kentucky massacre before.
In an interview just days before Conway's appearance on Hardball, she referenced the "Bowling Green massacre" in a phone interview with Cosmopolitan.com. According to the site, Trump's former campaign manager accuses former President Obama of calling for a "ban on Iraqi refugees" after the "massacre," and went on to describe the indictment of two Iraqi nationals in 2011.
"He did, it’s a fact," Conway told Cosmo. (For the record, Obama did not.) "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."
The story notes that those quotes did not appear in the stories Cosmopolitan.com ran.
Conway was referring to the case of Mohanad Shareef Hammadi and Waad Ramadan Alwan, two Iraqi refugees who resettled in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2009. They were indicted two years later when it was found that they had been involved in a roadside bombing targeting American troops. Hammadi and Alwan were later convicted of trying to send money and weapons to fund attacks on US troops, but national security officials never said the pair plotted any attack on US soil.
As a result of their arrests, the Department of Homeland Security re-screened some 58,000 Iraqi refugees already living in the U.S., along with another 25,000 who'd previously been approved to enter the country but had not yet arrived. Although Trump himself has said that Obama "banned visas for refugees" in the wake of the indictments, Obama's heightened security measures were not a ban and did not target visas or permanent residents.
Now that we've got all of that nailed down, maybe Conway can stop distorting the details of a non-existent "massacre" to drum up support for the president's disastrous Muslim ban.
UPDATE, 1:52 pm: The Daily Beast unearthed a third time Conway made similar remarks, this time about "the masterminds behind the Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers," in a video interview with TMZ.
UPDATE 2, 3:38 pm: In a statement, Conway said, "The terrorists were in Bowling Green and their attack occurred in Iraq…I meant to say masterminds or terrorists and not massacre."
You can read her full statement to the Beast's Gideon Resnick below: