U.S. President Donald Trump has riled up controversy over remarks he made about terrorism on the European continent, more specifically Sweden.
While speaking to 10,000 people on Saturday in Melbourne, Florida, Trump made remarks about terrorism in Sweden that seemed to not be factual. In his own words, Trump told the crowd that he wanted to speak honestly, and that his speech would be "without the filter of the fake news. The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources … ," he said.
Later, referring to his anti-mass migration policies, Trump said: "You look at what's happening last night [referring to the night of Friday, Feb 17] in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers [of immigrants], they're having problems like they never thought possible."
Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt took to Twitter to insult Trump regarding his statement. The U.S. Embassy in Sweden also tweeted that, "[It was] unclear [to them] what President Trump was referring to."
CNN's Brian Stelter, host of the "Reliable Sources" show, said, "The best theory of what he was talking about is a segment on Fox News from Friday night." The "segment" on Fox News was from a documentary made by filmmaker Ami Horowitz, who traveled to Sweden to record the difficult situation regarding immigration and the significant effects it has had on the Scandinavian nation.
Much like Germany under Chancellor Angela Merkel, Sweden considers itself to be a "humanitarian superpower" and has an "open door" policy towards migrants -- an increasingly unpopular policy. In 2016 alone, it accepted more than 160,000 asylum seekers despite having a population of less than 10 million. Several areas in large Swedish cities, most notoriously in Malmo, have become ghettos now referred to as "no-go zones" because not even the police dare to venture inside.
After the Horowitz documentary segment was shown on Fox's"Tucker Carlson Tonight" show, Carlson proceeded to ask Horowitz: "What's the long game here? How is this gonna look 10 or 15 years from now? Does it seem like assimilation is taking place?" Horowitz responded: "Oh no, not at all, we don't have to actually prognosticate on what the long game is, you can look at France, Belgium … and you can see the terrorism that's happening there. [For Sweden] this is a relatively new policy."
CNN's Stelter went on to say, "Perhaps President Trump saw that segment on Friday and was referring to that being ‘last night' as that would've been Friday night."
President Trump took to Twitter on the Feb. 19 to clear up the controversy, declaring, "My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden." The White House released another statement that read: "[President Trump was] talking about rising crime and recent incidents in general and not referring to a specific incident."
And indeed Trump might have got his words mixed up, but he was speaking in the context of widespread terrorism across continental Europe. Trump was referring to the Paris massacres, the Brussels airport bombs, the Nice and Berlin truck attacks as well as other incidents, which resulted in 1,500 casualties.
During his speech, Trump further expounded: "You look at what's happening in Germany, … you look at what's happening in Brussels, you look at that's happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice, take a look at Paris. We've allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country, and there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing. So we're going to keep our country safe!"
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