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11.52 7 Feb 2017


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Kellyanne Conway, a key aide to Donald Trump, has made more than one reference to the non-existent 'Bowling Green Massacre', US media outlets have revealed.

Last week, Ms Conway - who had coined the phrase 'alternative facts' in an earlier interview - cited the fictitious massacre during a television interview (broadcast on February 2nd) in which she was defending President Trump's controversial executive order on immigration.

The comment quickly led to widespread criticism and ridicule. Ms Conway later clarified that she meant to say 'terrorists' and later suggested the error was an 'honest mistake'.

Ms Conway's comments referenced an apparent temporary pause on Iraqi refugee processing in 2011 following the arrest of two Iraqi citizens who had attempted to send weapons and money to Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The two men - who are now serving life sentences in the US for terrorism charges - did live in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

However, as prosecutors noted, neither man was charged with plotting attacks within the United States. They were instead sentenced after admitting to "extensive terrorist activities against US soldiers in Iraq".

Fact checking claims from the Trump administration over the issue, The Washington Post contacted Obama administration officials who indicated "that there never was a point when Iraqi resettlement was stopped or banned". Instead, there was a significant slowdown in the screening process while a review of the programme was carried out in the aftermath of the case.

However, it has now been reported that the MSNBC interview was not Ms Conway's first reference to the 'massacre'. 

Interview claims

Speaking to a Cosmopolitan journalist on January 29th, Ms Conway referenced the 'massacre'. The comments were not initially published in articles that stemmed from the interview, but the magazine has now published the quotes.

Expanding on her suggestion that Obama had called for a temporary ban on Iraqi refugees, Ms Conway said: "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."

She later clarified to the magazine: "They were terrorists in Bowling Green but their massacre took place in Iraq."

According to Cosmopolitan, the changes introduced in the aftermath of the court case "prolonged the immigration process for Iraqi refugees but did not 'ban' them". The magazine also says there is no indication that the two men returned to the Middle East from the US for training.

In a separate video interview with TMZ on the 29th, she mentioned the 'Bowling Green attack on our brave soldiers':


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