Top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has apologised for citing a fake “massacre” in support of Donald Trump’s travel ban and acknowledged that not all of the mainstream media can be characterised as “fake news”.
In an interview to CNN on Tuesday, Conway said she “regretted tremendously” shaming the press for not covering the “Bowling Green massacre” — an event that did not happen — when she was defending Trump’s immigration crackdown.
During a 25-minute appearance on “The Lead with Jake Tapper”, Conway criticised the media for sloppy reporting. But she conceded that it was unfair to label CNN as “fake news” — as Trump has done previously.
Trump has continually slammed major media organisations, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as CNN, as “fake news”.
Conway said she was “trying to reach out” to the media and “put out the olive branch”, said the report.
During the interview she said the President offering blatant falsehoods as truth should matter less than his perceived accomplishments. “Are they (falsehoods) more important than the many things that he says that are true that are making a difference in people’s lives”, Conway asked.
CNN’s Tapper asked Conway about some of Trump’s claims, including his claim earlier that the murder rate was at the highest point in 47 years — which is wrong according to FBI statistics.
“Everyday there are these sprays of attack and sprays of falsehoods coming from the White House. It would be better if they were not coming from the White House, for me and for you,” Tapper said, adding that it inhibits news organisations’ ability to focus solely on policy.
“Agreed, and let me just say it has to go both ways… I sincerely don’t see a lot of difference in coverage from when he was a candidate and when he became the Republican nominee, the President-elect and, indeed, the President,” Conway said.
Conway also apologised for shaming the press for not covering the “Bowling Green Massacre”, an incident which did not occur. “I regretted it tremendously,” Conway said.
When she was asked about the President’s claim that the press does not cover terrorism and has an unstated reason for doing so, Conway conceded that many of the attacks were indeed covered extensively.
But she said other attacks weren’t covered enough relative to Trump’s candidacy or the death of the singer Prince and claims that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 rival, treated terrorism too lightly, CNN reported.
When asked about a recent shooting in Quebec, where a man stands accused of murdering Muslims and why Trump did not issue a tweet or other public statement in response to the event, Conway said: “I know he’s sympathetic to any loss of life. I will ask him. He doesn’t tweet about everything.”