Trump aide admits mistake over non-existant terror attack

During an interview with MSNBC Ms Conway justified the US President's travel ban by referring to a terror attack that never occurred

Trump aide admits mistake over non-existant terror attack

Counselor to the US President Kellyanne Conway, 22-01-2017. Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

A senior aide to Donald Trump has admitted she made a mistake after referring to a "massacre" that never happened. 

During an interview on MSNBC, Kellyanne Conway said the US President's temporary ban on refugees was in part justified due to what she called the "Bowling Green massacre."

She said: "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 radicalised and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.

"Most people don't know that because it didn't get covered."

In reality, the "massacre" never occurred. In 2011, two Iraqis from Bowling Green, Kentucky, were charged with attempting to send weapons and money to al-Qaeda in Iraq, and later jailed.

Neither of the men were charged with plotting attacks within the US.

Correcting herself on Twitter, Ms Conway said: "On @MSNBC I meant to say 'Bowling Green terrorists.'"

Hitting out at a reporter, she added: "Honest mistakes abound. Last night, prominent editor of liberal site apologised for almost running a story re: tweet from fake account."

Following the error, "Bowling Green massacre" became the top trending topic on Twitter, with many accusing the former Trump campaign chief of disseminating "alternative facts".

The phrase was coined by Ms Conway last month, as she jumped to the defence of White House press secretary Sean Spicer on MSNBC.

When Mr Spicer’s comments over the size of the crowd at the President’s inauguration were questioned, Ms Conway said: "You're saying it's a falsehood...Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that."

Sales of George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 have soared since she made the claim.