In what quickly became a widely mocked moment, Donald Trump referenced on Saturday an incident in Sweden the night before that, well, never happened. What Donald Trump said about Sweden sparked ridicule for its complete lack of facts, and his clarification on what he actually meant didn't offer any comfort.
"Here's the bottom line, we've got to keep our country safe," Trump said. "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."
He continued, " You look at what’s happening in Brussels. You look at what’s happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris. We’ve allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country and there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing. So we’re going to keep our country safe."
As many have pointed out, nothing of note happened in Sweden on Friday night, at least in regards to refugees and immigrants. It did reportedly snow, but that somehow doesn't seem to be what Trump was talking about.
On Sunday, Trump tried to clarify his comments by stating that he was referring to a Fox News report. "My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden."
Putting aside the fact that it's concerning our president is reportedly getting his information from Fox News instead of the briefings he finds unimportant enough to skip, the information Fox News reported is from one single independent filmmaker, Ami Horowitz, who went to Sweden. The report is being called into question by experts, who say it's an overstatement to say the country is suffering a wave of increased rape and violence related to immigrants and refugees.
Political scientist Henrik Selin told The New York Times that many news reports have exaggerated the existence of immigrant crime in Sweden. He said, "Those reports were highly exaggerated and not based in facts. Some of the stories were very popular to spread in social media by people who have the same kind of agenda — that countries should not receive so many refugees." Horowitz, however, claims people "often times try to cover up some of these crimes."
Maybe Trump should start attending briefings by his staff instead of watching Fox News before he gives a speech in front of the entire nation, so these kind of references don't happen again.