After being mocked mercilessly around the globe and across the internet, President Donald Trump attempted to clarify his comment on Sweden in a tweet published Sunday. While Swedes have been unable to figure out what Trump was talking about when he cited an unspecified terrorist- or immigrant-related incident in Sweden as proof America needed to bolster its own security during a rally in Florida on Saturday, the president now claims he heard about the still unknown incident on Fox News.
It seems Trump's baffling claim was spurred not by reports of an actual terrorist or refugee-related crime, but rather by a segment on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight. In a segment that aired Friday, host Tucker Carlson spoke with filmmaker Ami Horowitz about his latest documentary, which argues Sweden's open door refugee policy as resulted in an unprecedented rise in crime. "Sweden has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and rape and violence has since skyrocketed," a description of Friday's segment alleges. Horowitz went on to allege the Swedish government was attempting to hide the affect its open door refugee policy was having on crime.
On Saturday, Trump had attempted to cite an incident he claimed occurred Friday night in Sweden as evidence America needed to strengthen its borders. "Here's the bottom line, we've got to keep our country safe," Trump told supporters at a rally in Melbourne, Florida.
You look at what's happening. We've got to keep our country safe. 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.
His comment left many, including the Swedish government, baffled. Swedish Security Police spokesman Karl Melin told the Associated Press "nothing has occurred which would cause us to raise [the terror threat] level." In response to Trump's comment, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson told the AP the Swedish government was not aware of any "terror-linked major incidents" and confirmed the Swedish Embassy in Washington had reached out to the State Department for clarification of the president's remark.
The incident seems to confirm suspicions Trump draws many of his opinions from information he gets from television, specifically from Fox News.