WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – President Donald Trump is tweeting further criticism of Sweden’s immigration policies.
The president tweeted Monday that: “The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!”
People in Sweden have been disputing Trump’s suggestions during a rally Friday that some sort of incident had occurred in their country.
Trump tweeted Sunday he was referring to something he saw on television.
The president might be referring to a segment aired Friday night on the Fox News Channel show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that reported Sweden had accepted more than 160,000 asylum-seekers last year but that only 500 of the migrants had found jobs in Sweden. The report went on to say that a surge in violence had followed.
On Sunday, Donald Trump tried to explain what he meant by a comment about a non-existent incident in Sweden in a speech the day before that left the Scandinavian country baffled.
“My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” he tweeted.
It was unclear exactly which story Trump was referring to, but Friday night’s edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” included an interview with documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz about problems related to immigration in Sweden.
A number of Swedish officials have dismissed the documentary, which alleges that the country has suffered from an explosion of violent crime after taking in hundreds of thousands of refugees over the past several years.
Magnus Ranstorp, a researcher specializing in terrorism with the Swedish Defence University, tweeted “it was FAKE NEWS” after looking at the Fox News clip.
“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden,” Trump said in a speech to supporters Saturday in Florida.
“They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible,” he continued, implying the country had been the victim of a terrorist attack.
The school librarian currently curating Sweden’s Twitter account @sweden was flooded with queries about Trump’s remarks and wrote numerous tweets in response confirming that “nothing has happened.”
She signed off early on Sunday saying, “all is fine here,” and noted that the main news on Friday night had been a Swedish qualification heat for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.
Former Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, currently attending the Munich Security Conference, also questioned the president’s remarks in a tweet.
“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” Bildt said.
Stockholm tabloid Aftonbladet’s wrote up a list of events that took place Friday night including a snowstorm that hit northern Sweden.
Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson told dpa on Sunday that the Swedish embassy in Washington had sought clarification about Trump’s comments.
“We look forward to informing the US administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies,” the Swedish Embassy to the U.S. added in a tweet on Sunday.
Plenty of humorous responses were also posted on Twitter using the hashtag #LastNightInSweden.
One user posted a photo of the ‘70s pop group ABBA with the line, “Sweden has deployed their elite force of Super Troupers.” Another referred to a cartoon figure holding a drill while assembling a piece of IKEA furniture as a “heavily-armed terrorist.”
And a Swedish-language tweet on the Swedish Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account on Sunday noted that “post-truth” was listed as the Oxford English Dictionary’s international word of 2016.
The term describes emotional and personal beliefs that are more influential in shaping public opinion than facts. The term became common after the Brexit referendum in Britain and the divisive U.S. presidential election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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