President Trump’s top aide Kellyanne Conway reportedly referenced the “Bowling Green attack” twice last month, before she was criticized for calling the fictitious event “a massacre” on MSNBC.
Conway referred to a terrorism incident that never occurred during a Jan. 29 TMZ interview while defending the president’s order barring refugees and people from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for set periods of time.
“President Obama suspended the Iraq refugee program for six months in 2011 and no one certainly covered it,” she said in the segment, which The Daily Beast first resurfaced on Monday. “I think nobody noticed.”
“He did that because, I assume, because 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,” Conway added, alluding to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“This is what presidents do when they’re trying to protect our country. President Obama did it and now President Trump is doing it. President Obama identified those seven countries.”
Conway attracted social media mockery last week, after referencing the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” during an interview with MSNBC.
“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 into this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” she said on Feb. 2.
Conway tweeted one day later that she meant to reference “terrorists” from Bowling Green, Ky., rather than calling the 2011 incident an attack.
The president’s counselor linked to a 2013 ABC News article referred to the discovery of two “al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky.”
The pair prompted the FBI to investigate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) collected from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan for fingerprints from suspected terrorists.
The two men were ultimately indicted for allegedly attempting to send weapons to Iraq “for the purpose of killing U.S. soldiers” there.
ABC’s reporting also noted the U.S. overhauled its refugee screening system in 2011 after the duo were found to be mistakenly admitted into the country.
Conway also mentioned the “Bowling Green massacre” during a Jan. 29 interview with Cosmopolitan before the phrase attracted wider notice due to her MSNBC appearance.