Top White House advisor — Kellyanne Conway appeared on MSNBC stating the ‘Bowling Green massacre’ was the main reason for President Trump’s immigration ban — which has blocked visitors from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States. The only problem is — it never happened.
The two Iraqi refugees Conway accuses of arriving in the US and successfully planning a terror attack were convicted in 2013 — but not for planning a terror attack. Waad Ramadan Alwan, then 30, and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, then 23, were Iraqi nationals charged with providing material support to Al Qaeda. While no one is claiming these men to be Boy Scouts — there is a difference between providing material support to a terrorist organization and carrying out an attack on American soil.
“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 were masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre,” Conway explained. Just in case you watched that interview and wondered why you never heard of said massacre –Conway has an answer for that too. “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered,” she calmly replies.
Barely two weeks into her position as a top White House advisor and Kellyanne Conway is building a reputation for spreading outright lies and failing to take responsibility for such falsehoods by labeling them ‘alternative facts.’ That’s a fancy phrase for lying. To her credit — Conway has admitted that she misspoke during that interview — but her complete fabrication without so much as batting an eyelash is troubling — particularly for women in positions of power.
The Consequences of Inaccurate Information
Whether true or not, the allegations against Hillary Clinton that she illegally discarded classified emails to avoid prosecution and her involvement in the debacle that was Bengazi was enough to lose her a presidential election. The mere hint of dishonesty was enough for the American public to ignore a qualified presidential candidate with 30 years of experience in government (including a stint as Secretary of State). That’s what makes Conway’s frequent use of ‘alternative facts’ so dangerous.
A study published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology found that people perceive women to lie less than men. Being one of the few women in a position of power on President Trump’s advisory team, Conway has a responsibility to ensure that the facts that she shares with the American people are useful and accurate. If not, she runs the risk of being seen as less credible, and worse, damaging the reputation of women who would follow in her footsteps.
Let’s hope these first two weeks of Conway’s time on the job are not a reflection of what we can expect for the next four years. A woman’s bad behavior often leaves a bad reflection on those that come after. Here’s hoping she comes prepared with accurate statistics or else we’re all going to have to start fact checking her interviews.
Images: CBS News, CNBC, Huffington Post, Inquisitr, MSNBC