Paul Joseph Watson, an editor of Alex Jones' website Infowars.com, offered on Feb. 20 to pay for the travel and lodging of any journalist willing to go to Malmo, Sweden.
Watson, based in the U.K., made his offer on Twitter: "Any journalist claiming Sweden is safe; I will pay for travel costs & accommodation for you to stay in crime ridden migrant suburbs of Malmo."
Watson's dare was an apparent defense of President Donald Trump, who referenced the immigration situation in Sweden during a rally on Feb. 18, notes The Independent:
You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.
After questions were raised about his comments, Trump tweeted on Feb. 19: "My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on [FoxNews] concerning immigrants & Sweden."
Trump may have been specifically referring to a clip from a new documentary by Ami Horowitz, purporting to show refugees committing violence in Sweden, which aired during a Fox News broadcast.
Swedish officials, however, told The New York Times that Horowitz's claims of increasing violent acts by immigrants are flawed -- while more sexual assault victims are now coming forward, and thus more violent crimes are now being reported, this does not necessarily prove an increase in the number of violent attacks, notes The Independent.
Trump was soundly mocked on Twitter with the hashtag #lastnightinSweden.
After issuing his offer on Twitter, Watson posted a second message, which he has since deleted, notes BBC News: "All you lefty idiots accepting a 'trip to Sweden.' Can you read? I said you'd be staying here. Good luck."
While hundreds accepted Watson's offer, he offered $2,000 for travel and hotel to U.S.-based journalist Tim Pool, who is going to "investigate the claims of 'no-go zones' and a rise in crime that people believe are coming from migrants and refugees."
Pool tweeted to Watson: "Thanks to [Prison Planet] for following through on his offer to fund journalism in Sweden. We will be there very soon."
Malmo's deputy mayor Nils Karlssor also tweeted to Watson: "Hello, [Watson]. I'm a deputy mayor in Malmo. I would be happy to meet with any journalists you send here to ser for themselves."