Conway Cited Non-Existent ‘Bowling Green Massacre’ More Than Once

AP

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway claimed she “misspoke one word” when she referenced the non-existent “Bowling Green massacre” in an interview last Thursday. However, she referenced the same event in an interview days earlier with Cosmopolitan.

Though Cosmopolitan never used the senior White House adviser’s claims in two published stories, the magazine reported Monday, Conway referenced a “Bowling Green massacre” over the phone with a Cosmopolitan journalist days before being called on the same error in a television interview.

As she did in conversation with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Thursday, Conway also told Cosmopolitan that former President Barack Obama had temporarily banned Iraqi refugees. (In fact, Obama merely slowed the process of vetting refugees, but never halted or “banned” it.)

“He did, it’s a fact,” Conway said on Sunday, Jan. 29, as quoted by Cosmopolitan. “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.”

While two Iraqi citizens living in Kentucky at the time did plead guilty to various terrorism-related charges in 2011 and 2012, according to an FBI fact sheet flagged by Cosmopolitan, they never carried out any attack on American soil.

On Friday, Conway said on Twitter that she made an “honest mistake.”

Update: The Daily Beast on Monday flagged another instance of Conway referring to a “Bowling Green attack” and a suspension of the Iraq refugee program by Obama, in a video interview with TMZ published on Jan. 29.

“President Obama suspended the Iraq refugee program for six months in 2011 and no one, certainly, covered it. I think nobody noticed. He did that, I assume, because there were two Iraqis that came here, got radicalized, joined ISIS, and then were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers,” she said, according to footage of the interview published by TMZ.

In a response to Cosmo’s story on Sunday night, Conway wrote the magazine via text message, “Frankly they were terrorists in Bowling Green but their massacre took place in Iraq. 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.”

Watch Conway’s interview with TMZ below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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