It seems that no one is safe these days—not because of Islamic terrorist refugees, as President Donald Trump continues to falsely claim—but rather from references by the Trump administration to attacks that never happened.
First it was the made-up massacre at Bowling Green. Then it was Atlanta. Now, Sweden is furious over a bizarre comment Trump delivered during a campaign rally speech Saturday evening in Melbourne, FL.
“We’ve got to keep our country safe,” Trump roared. “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 [of refugees], they’re having problems they never thought possible.”
On that last point he was correct, as a recent terrorist attack by Muslim refugees in Sweden wasn’t possible—because it didn’t happen.
The irresponsible and misguided comment, not to mention fake, prompted Sweden’s former Prime Minister Carl Bildt to respond with what everyone was thinking:
As people around the world, particularly in Europe, began frantically Googling “Sweden terrorist attack” to figure out what the hell Donald was talking about, the realization quickly came into focus that our commander-in-chief—who has the nuclear codes—seems to be getting his intelligence primarily from Fox News and right-wing blogs.
On Friday, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson program ran a segment on a documentary about immigration in Sweden and claims that it had caused a spike in crime. There is an ongoing debate right now in Sweden over its policy of admitting tens thousands of refugees each year, a tradition that extends all the way back to World War II, when the country provided harbor for thousands of European Jews fleeing Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. But that debate is a far cry from saying that a recent terrorist attack happened. It’s just not true.
The president’s irresponsible comment did, however, inspire a flood of #SwedenIncident tweets from around the world mocking Trump and his supporters.
Update: President @realDonaldTrump clarified his Sweden comment on Sunday afternoon, apparently after playing a couple rounds of golf. Here's his explanation: