Over the weekend, in Florida, United States President, Donald Trump spoke at a rally held in Melbourne and talked about some of the serious issues facing European countries with their open migration policies. According to the Swedish paper Aftonbladet, Trump cited Sweden as a “bad example” in this policy. Then, Trump said something very shocking, especially to the people of Sweden. “When you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden – Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden!”
The Swedish Government now wants a full explanation on what Trump meant by his statement “last night in Sweden,” and referring to a “serious incident” in the Nordic country, as there was no act of terrorism that ever occurred. Could this be the second time this month that Trump has created fake news about Sweden?
While social media has light of the president’s cryptic comments about the Scandinavian country, the Swedish government is not so entertained by Trump’s slanderous comments. They are quite puzzled about this fake news and slander about their country and demand an explanation. Catarina Axelsson, spokesperson for the Swedish government told Swedish news agency TT that they have requested clarification on Trump’ statement.
“Our embassy in Washington has been in contact with the US foreign affairs office to get clarification. We’re of course wondering [what he referred to].”
Axelsson did not know if the Trump administration will reply to her request for further information on this statement.
“Let’s see if we get an answer from the embassy.”
This is not the first time this month that Donald Trump and his administration has mentioned terrorism in Sweden. Two weeks ago, the White House presented a list of terror attacks that were deemed as “under-reported.” It is unclear if the list of under-reported terror attacks were in the English language media, or in news sources in the language of the country of origin.
Here's the list the White House sent of attacks they feel "did not receive adequate attention from Western media sources." pic.twitter.com/lj8eOZQfnY
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) February 7, 2017
Nonetheless, this list included a fire in Malmo, where an Iraqi cultural association committed arson on a community center. The Local Sweden, the English language paper who had reported on this accusation by the White House, pointed out that they did indeed report on this incident, and on several occasions.
That incident went to court in December and a judge determined that due to a lack of evidence, this was not a terrorist act, but instead, the charge against the accused was arson. The paper was given the court results and reported on it.
“According to the district court, the level of suspicion required to be considered a terror crime has not been met. The man is on the other hand accused of arson, on probable cause.”
“The easiest way to describe this is classic fake news from Trump’s White House. This is nothing to do with the truth, it’s an influencing operation. Propaganda, targeted at the American population.”
Ranstorp further explained that these incidents have been reported locally, but are not of interest to an international audience.
“These things have been reported at a local level, as many of them are instances of local news, for which there would be a limited international appetite. Then there’s also the question: if you aren’t sure if it was a terror-related issue, or something else, why would you report it as terror?”
Lastly, the terrorism expert declares that this list was only for political reasons and further explains that stating that it is fake news to state that Paris and Nice were not reported on when both cities that experienced horrific acts of terror, where indeed reported on and extensively throughout the world.
“That’s the pathetic thing about this. It’s solely for political purposes, to point a finger at the media. It’s ‘fake news’ to argue that Paris and Nice were not reported on. That’s a complete lie.”
Although the current Swedish government demands an explanation, the former Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt has been poking a bit of fun at the president as he asked on Twitter what Trump has been smoking.
“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound”
Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound. https://t.co/XWgw8Fz7tj
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 19, 2017
Since Trump’s election, Bildt appears to not be terribly impressed with President Donald Trump. A week after he was voted in, Bildt tweeted an unflattering photo of Trump with Nigel Farage and a little piece of advice about the new American president.
“If Trump now wanted to look statesmanlike to Europe, receiving Farage was probably the worst thing he could do.”
If Trump now wanted to look statesmanlike to Europe, receiving Farage was probably the worst thing he could to. pic.twitter.com/DSH2LzuN6I
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) November 13, 2016
Do you think it is appropriate for the president to make up news about a terror attack in another country? Do you think #lastnightinsweden is the same as Bowling Green?
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]