Not a one-time blunder. Kellyanne Conway cited the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” in an interview with Cosmopolitan.com prior to her controversial Thursday, February 2, appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball.
While speaking with the website, Conway, 50 — who served as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager and is now counselor to the 70-year-old business mogul — referred to the purported terrorist attack days before her unsubstantiated claims to MSNBC went viral. (Cosmo previously posted two stories featuring recent interviews with Conway, but neither included her “Bowling Green massacre” comments.)
As she did in her interview with MSNBC, the New Jersey native claimed that 44th POTUS Barack Obama called for a “temporary ban on Iraqi refugees” following the made-up event.
"He did, it’s a fact," she said of Obama, 55. "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."
Cosmo reached out to Conway for comment on Friday afternoon and she replied via text message. "It was a plot to massacre and they were Bowling Green terrorists. That's what I should have said. I clarified,” she wrote. "Those were evil men who bragged about attacking American soldiers."
The story that Conway was referring to was about two Iraqi men who lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and were indicted in 2011 on federal terrorism charges. She mentioned the false event in defense of Trump’s controversial immigration ban.
According to the New York Times, one man is serving a life sentence while the other is serving 40 years and a life term of supervised release for using explosive devices against American military members in Iraq and also for attempting to send weapons to Al-Qaeda for the purpose of killing U.S. soldiers. However, there is no mention of an actual massacre in Bowling Green.
After facing backlash for her fabricated account on Hardball, Conway tweeted that she meant to say “terrorists,” not “massacre,” and shared a link to an ABC News article. “On @hardball@NBCNews@MSNBC I meant to say ‘Bowling Green terrorists’ as reported here,” she wrote.
During a Sunday-night text exchange between Cosmo and Conway, the White House staffer said that she is happy to shed light on “what did” take place in Bowling Green.
"Frankly they were terrorists in Bowling Green but their massacre took place in Iraq,” she wrote. “At least this got clear-thinking people to focus on what did happen in Bowling Green. I gave new life to that ABC News investigative report and the fact that these two Iraqi nationals came to the US with a plan of death and destruction."
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