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Factsheet: Kellyanne Conway

Published on 04 Dec 2018

IMPACT: Before working as a spokesperson for the Trump administration, Kellyanne Conway worked with the Center for Security Policy to produce a misleading survey on American Muslim public opinion. The poll was later used by Donald Trump to justify his “Muslim ban” proposal during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Kellyanne Conway serves as Counselor to President Donald Trump. During the 2016 presidential campaign, she worked as an advisor and campaign manager for the Trump campaign.

Conway is the former president and CEO of The Polling Company/The Woman Trend, a small Washington-based agency that has advised corporate clients and Republican politicians like Newt Gingrich, Ted Cruz, and Vice President Mike Pence.

In mid-2015, Conway’s company conducted a poll of American Muslims for the Center for Security Policy, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) considers an anti-Muslim hate group. In calling for a “ban of Muslims” in December 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump pointed to the poll as justification the ban.

Conway and CSP’s survey was a non-probability based, opt-in online survey, and thus was not representative of all American Muslims’ views. The survey only represents the views of the several hundred people who opted into the survey. (See the Bridge Initiative’s analysis of the poll here).  

Conway appeared on CSP’s radio show to discuss the poll. Despite the fact that the poll’s findings are not representative of the entire Muslim population, she — like CSP — claimed inaccurately that “one in five Muslims living in the U.S.” believe “violence is justified to punish those who have offended Muhammad.” Conway’s group collaborated with CSP on other occasions to produce surveys about Islam and Muslims.

In an interview on MSNBC during the presidential campaign, Conway said that Donald Trump had a “five point plan to defeat Islam.” She later corrected herself and said she meant to say “radical Islamic terrorism.”

In an interview on MSNBC in February 2017, Conway attempted to defend President Trump’s executive order halting entry into the U.S. from seven, Muslim-majority countries, claiming: “…President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.” In fact, no “massacre” by Iraqi refugees ever occurred in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Rather, two Iraqi refugee men were arrested there on federal terrorism charges of aiding Al-Qaeda in Iraq. In addition, President Obama never stopped the inflow of refugees, but rather slowed the visa process for Iraqi nationals. Conway clarified her statement on Twitter, saying she meant “Bowling Green terrorists.”

Last Updated March 30, 2017