CNN rejects White House claim: We never retracted statement on Conway

CNN on Tuesday rejected the White House’s defense of Kellyanne Conway, escalating a fight with the Trump administration over the credibility of one of the president's top aides.
At the White House briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that CNN had “retracted” its statement about not inviting Conway, a counselor to the president, on air due to concerns about her credibility.
“My understanding is they retracted that, they walked that back, or denied it, or however you want to put it, I don’t care,” Spicer said. 
“But I think Kellyanne is a very trusted aide of the president and any characterization otherwise is insulting. If they choose not to work with someone that’s up to them, but we’re going to continue to put out key leaders of this administration, including Kellyanne, that can articulate this president’s policies and agenda.”
CNN fired back over Twitter, noting that the network has not retracted or walked back its initial comments.
“CNN was clear, on the record, about our concerns about Kellyanne Conway’s credibility,” the statement said.
CNN said Monday that it passed on booking Conway as a guest for a Sunday morning political show. The New York Times reported a day earlier that CNN’s decision was due to "serious questions about her credibility."
Conway claimed she had been invited to appear on CNN’s “State of the Union” and declined for family reasons, prompting CNN to tweet its response.
Conway faced backlash this weekend after pointing to a terrorist attack that never happened during her defense of Trump's executive order temporarily barring refugees and those from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
During an interview last week with MSNBC's "Hardball," Conway referenced the "Bowling Green massacre," an event that never happened.
Conway later corrected herself in a tweet following the interview, which included a link to a 2013 ABC News report that referenced two Iraqis who were arrested for supporting al Qaeda while living in Bowling Green, Ky. She had mentioned the fictitious incident at least twice before the MSNBC interview.
Over the weekend, Conway sought to defend herself, saying she "misspoke one word." She called some of those who criticized her for the misstatement "haters."
Rebecca Savransky contributed.