Kellyanne Conway blamed two Iraqi refugees for a terrorist attack that never happened — and social media users pounced on her for citing more “alternative facts.”
The senior advisor to President Donald Trump cited the fictional “Bowling Green massacre” Thursday on MSNBC’s “Hardball” to justify the executive order banning travelers from several predominantly Muslim nations, reported The Guardian.
Conway also falsely compared Trump’s order to visa restrictions imposed in 2011 by then-President Barack Obama, which paused the processing of Iraqi refugees for six months after two of them were arrested in a failed attempt to send funding and weapons to al Qaeda in their home country.
This, in Conway’s telling, became a successful attack in Kentucky’s third-largest city — home to Western Kentucky University and the source of all Corvettes built since 1981.
“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 radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” Conway told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
Sen. Rand Paul, who lives in Bowling Green, made a similar claim Thursday night in another MSNBC interview, suggesting the men were charged in connection with an “attempted bombing.”
In fact, there was no massacre and there was no attempted bombing, and Justice Department officials said in 2012 that the two Iraqi nationals were never even accused of plotting an attack in the U.S.
Twitter users heaped scorn and derision over Conway for inventing a terrorist attack to justify the controversial travel ban, which has sparked protests nationwide.
— Jill Biden (@JillBidenVeep) February 3, 2017
Will never forget @RandPaul standing on the rubble of the Bowling Green massacre and comforting victims. Never forget!
— Shannon Ragland (@JuryReporter) February 3, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
Finding these Bowling Green Massacre jokes to be a little too soon. Out of respect, we should wait until it takes place.
— Justin Shanes (@justinshanes) February 3, 2017
So there I was feeding my pet unicorn & getting my leprechaun ready when out of nowhere I heard gunfire. Found out later, #BowlingGreen
— whatitsmenej (@whatitsmenej) February 3, 2017
Saddened and sickened by Frederick Douglass' silence surrounding the Bowling Green Massacre.ADVERTISEMENT
— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) February 3, 2017
— David Waldman (@KagroX) February 3, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
Finally something worthwhile from the new administration. I've been a Bowling Green Truther for years. #BowlingGreen
— John Emmett (@jbemmett) February 3, 2017
— Paul (@PoorPenman) February 3, 2017
Deniers of Holocaust, aboriginal genocide etc are scum. But new low life act is to create fake massacres to justify race hate #BowlingGreenADVERTISEMENT
— Brent Mitchell (@BrentMitch8) February 3, 2017
If we never remember, then they will never forget, what we remembered to forget. Remember? #BowlingGreen
— Jay Bradshaw (@jwb625) February 3, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
If Obama hadn't taken away everyone's guns, the #BowlingGreen massacre would never have happened.
— Skywatcher Kev (@Ksal1958) February 3, 2017
— Making Progress (@Newsforachange) February 3, 2017
With #BowlingGreen, this quote has been rattling around my head all morning:
‘Comrade Ogilvy, unimagined an hour ago, was now a fact.’
— Kim Knox (@KimKnox) February 3, 2017
— Sara Celi (@SaraGCeli) February 3, 2017
— ProvokeThought (@_ProvokeThought) February 3, 2017