How Can We Believe Anything This Administration Says?

It has only been two weeks and already the lying from Trump and his administration has reached epic proportions. The latest comes from Kellyanne Conway, who managed to give us three “alternative facts” in less than 19 seconds.

Let’s name the lies.

1. That President Obama had a six month ban on the Iraqi refugee program.

Glenn Kessler assigned that one three pinocchios last Saturday.

Former Obama administration official Jon Finer denied that any ban in Iraqi refugee admissions was put in place under Obama. “While the flow of Iraqi refugees slowed significantly during the Obama administration’s review, refugees continued to be admitted to the United States during that time, and there was not a single month in which no Iraqis arrived here,” he wrote in Foreign Policy. “In other words, while there were delays in processing, there was no outright ban.”

2. That the ban (which didn’t exist) came after two Iraqis were radicalized and became the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.

There was never a “Bowling Green massacre.” The two Iraqis were arrested after federal agents infiltrated their circle and they never managed to carry out their schemes – although one of them was found to have planted explosive devices while still in Iraq.

3. That people didn’t know about all this because the media didn’t cover it.

Of course, the media didn’t cover a massacre that never happened. But the arrest of these two men and the Obama administrations subsequent review of the vetting process for Iraqi refugees were not only reported on widely, the latter was the subject of a Congressional uproar – and was discussed at a Senate hearing.

After her remarks made headlines, Conway suggested that she meant to refer to “Bowling Green terrorists” rather than a “Bowling Green massacre.” So lets pretend that lie was merely a matter of letting the wrong word slip. Here is how her statement would have read:

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 terrorists.

That they were the “masterminds behind the terrorists” makes no sense.

No… Conway said exactly what she meant to say. And as Kevin Drum notes, her audience for the idea that there was a Bowling Green massacre won’t ever hear the fact check about how it actually never happened.

It will soon become an article of faith on the conservative email network that hundreds died in the Bowling Green massacre, complete with before-and-after pictures from Google Earth of the Baptist church that was left a smoking crater in the aftermath.

In other words, those three lies affirm the fact that Trump supporters will go on being manipulated and that the rest of us should think twice before believing ANYTHING this administration says.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.