Kellyanne Conway, a key adviser to US President Donald Trump, has come under fire after defending an order barring entry to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries by blaming two Iraqi refugees for a "massacre" that never happened.

Conway told the US news channel MSNBC on Thursday night that the media had failed to cover the "Bowling Green Massacre", which she claimed was the reason that former President Barack Obama's administration stopped accepting refugees for six months in 2011. 

"I bet it's brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee programme after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalised and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. It didn't get covered," Conway, who served as a manager for Trump's presidential campaign and is currently a White House counsellor, said in the interview.

Obama's temporary ban came after two Iraqi refugees living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, were imprisoned for their involvement in attacks on US troops when the two were in Iraq and for allegedly sending funds and weapons from the US to al-Qaeda members fighting US forces in their home country.

However, the two men were never accused of carrying out or plotting any attacks on US soil.

Conway had previously coined the phrase "alternative facts" when justifying the White House's unsubstantiated claim that Trump's inauguration ceremony had the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, both in person and around the globe".

Later on Friday, Conway tweeted that she meant to say "Bowling Green terrorists", but Twitter users were quick to point out that those words would not fit properly in her statement.

Source: Al Jazeera News