Politics

Trump Blames Sweden Remarks On Fox News

| by Denise Recalde

President Donald Trump's mention of immigration problems in Sweden during a Florida rally triggered a request for an explanation by Swedish officials, and now, he says it's all because of what he saw on Fox News.

In response, he tweeted on Feb. 19 that his reference was linked to a Fox News report on a security incident in the Scandinavian country.

"My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on [FoxNews] concerning immigrants & Sweden," Trump wrote in the tweet, the Daily Mail reports. 

On the night of Feb. 18, Trump addressed his followers in a Florida rally and said: "You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden."

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"Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden," he continued. "They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible." 

The embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C., promptly asked the US State Department for an explanation of Trump's comments that insinuated an attack had happened there on Feb. 17. 

They tweeted: "We look forward to informing the US administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies."

According to ABC, the White House clarified Trump was referring to "rising crime and recent incidents, in general," and not "a specific incident" in Sweden. 

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Trump apparently spoke of a security incident that transpired in Sweden the night before the rally, which puzzled many Swedes.

"We have asked the question today to the state department. We are trying to get clarity," said Swedish Foreign Ministry Representative Catarina Axelsson. 

She said her "government wasn't aware of any 'terror-linked major incidents,'" The Associated Press reports. 

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom responded to Trump's reference to Sweden on Twitter with the comment "owing to certain circumstances," and cited an excerpt of her speech read in parliament in mid-February on Swedish foreign policy, notes Business Insider.

The passage reads: "In 2016, 'post-truth' was named Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries. Both functioning democracy and constructive cooperation between states require us to speak with, and not about, each other, to honor agreements and to allow ideas to compete. 

"They also require us to respect science, facts and the media, and to acknowledge each other's wisdom."

Ex-Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt tweeted: "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound." 

Trump alluded to security attacks to Europe in his speech.

"You look at what's happening in Brussels. You look at what's happening all over the world," he said.

"Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris," he said as he pledged to keep the "country safe." 

Trump's statements were rebutted by Twitter users including Chelsea Clinton.
 
"What happened in Sweden Friday night? Did they catch the Bowling Green Massacre perpetrators?" she said in reference to Kellyanne Conway's factual slip in January.

Sources: Daily Mail, ABC, AP, Business Insider / Photo credit: Darren McCollester/Slate

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