During Donald Trump’s first week in the White House, his advisors coined the term “alternate facts” and the administration seems to be running with the idea that it’s okay to spout fake news.
First, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway described the fake terror attack Bowling Green massacre on national TV then the President cited a nonexistent terror incident in Sweden during a rally on Saturday.
The incident occurred at a political rally in Melbourne, Florida where Trump had gone to “be among friends;” he was giving a speech about refugees and their relationship to terror attacks when he cited the nonexistent Swedish Incident, reports Business Insider.
“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 are having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening Brussels, you look at what’s happening all over the world.”
No terror attacks were reported in Sweden Friday night, however, and the understandably confused country asked the U.S. State Department what he was talking about.
The internet also went wild with speculation and Sunday Trump tweeted out a message that he had been referring to a Fox News story about rising crime in Sweden related to recent immigrants, according to YahooNews.
“My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.”
Trump was referring to a segment on Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Friday that featured a Swedish documentary claiming the country was experiencing a crime wave because of a recent influx of immigrants.
Swedish crime rates have remained relatively stable, with some variations, despite an influx of immigrants, according to the 2016 Swedish Crime Survey.
— Matty Gregg (@gimmie_a_tweet) February 19, 2017
Implicated in the #SwedishIncident.. 70's pop sensation Abba.
— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) February 19, 2017
The statements by Trump advisors and the President himself concerning refugees and migrant-related crime come as the White House continues to slam mainstream media outlets as fake news.
Trump has repeatedly attacked CNN as a fake news outlet with low ratings and anger issues for their reports on the size of the crowd at his inauguration and his ties to Russia, as Forbes reports.
“The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people.”
Even some conservatives seem to have had enough of Trump’s media bashing. This week, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith blasted Trump for his harsh treatment of the press in general and attacks on CNN reporters in particular, according to VOX.
“It’s crazy what we’re watching every day. It’s absolutely crazy….No, sir. We’re not fools for asking these questions.”
Arizona Senator John McCain also joined in defending the media this week when he spoke on NBC’s Meet The Press saying dictators often shut down the press, according to the USA Today.
“If you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free, and many times adversarial, press.”
— Madra David (@madradavid) February 19, 2017
— Donald Duc (@ribbone9) February 20, 2017
The internet hasn’t taken Trump’s comments about the Swedish Incident very well. Twitter and Facebook have filled with mocking messages linking the nonexistent incident to the fake Bowling Green massacre with hilarious results.
The hashtag #LastNightInSweden and #SwedenIncident trended on Twitter with pictures of IKEA furniture along with the resurrected #BowlingGreen hashtag.
The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet also got in on the joke listing a number of incidents that did happen in the country Friday night, including a famous singer having technical problems onstage, an avalanche warning, and a police pursuit.
The Swedish Prime Minister was more respectful, simply tweeting that it was important for democracies to focus on science and established facts when making decisions. His predecessor, however, felt no such limitations and tweeted out a question asking what Trump had been smoking.
What do you think about the Trump administrations’ use of alternate facts?
[Featured Image by Chris O’Meara/AP Images]