President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that the non-existent incident “last night in Sweden” he cited during a rally on Saturday was a reference to a story aired on Fox News the previous night.
Fox host Tucker Carlson interviewed Ami Horowitz, a filmmaker who claimed that there has been “an absolute surge in both gun violence and rape in Sweden once they began this open-door policy,” in a segment broadcast Friday night.
Neither Horowitz nor Carlson alluded to any specific incident during the interview.
My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2017
Give the public a break – The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2017
As of 2016, Sweden took in more refugees per capita than any other European nation, according to a report by The Telegraph.
“Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible,” Trump said at a rally on Saturday night in Melbourne, Florida. “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.”
“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?” former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt wondered in response.
Trump’s comment was just the latest in a line of missteps by members of his administration who have cited non-existent attacks to defend his hardline position on immigration and refugees.
Top White House advisor Kellyanne Conway cited the non-existent “Bowling Green Massacre” earlier in February while defending his ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
And days later, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he “clearly meant Orlando”—apparently referring to the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June—amid confusion about several previous references he made to an unspecified attack “in Atlanta.”