#LastNightInSweden: Trump panned over fake attack gaffe, Swedes want answers
"We've got to keep our country safe," the US president reiterated.
"You look at what's happening last night in Sweden ... who would believe this? Sweden, they took in large numbers, they're having problems like they never thought possible,” the president said to justify his proposed immigration travel ban.
Trump, discussing terror, seamlessly mentions incident "last night in Sweden".— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) 19 February 2017
There was NO "incident" in Sweden last night. pic.twitter.com/XtcC4PRiNU
Swedes quickly began dispelling rumours that an attack had taken place in their country, confirming that, in fact, nothing had happened.
The hashtag #LastNightInSweden soon started trending as one of the most popular online topics in Sweden, forming a wave of amusing speculation about just what exactly had inspired Trump’s comments.
The Swedish government, however, did not see the funny side to Trump’s remarks and called on the US president to clarify his comments.
“Our embassy in Washington has been in contact with the US foreign affairs office to get clarification. We’re of course wondering [what he referred to],” government spokeswoman, Catarina Axelsson told Swedish news agency TT.
“Let’s see if we get an answer from the embassy,” she added.
The issue also promoted former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt to wonder just what the US president was talking about.
Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound. https://t.co/XWgw8Fz7tj— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 19, 2017
While Chelsea Clinton also got in on the mockery of the man who pipped her mother Hillary to the White House.
What happened in Sweden Friday night? Did they catch the Bowling Green Massacre perpetrators?— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) 19 February 2017
In a tweet Sunday, Trump said he was referring to "a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden," although no further details were provided.
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
It's thought the piece Trump was alluding to was a segment on Tucker Carlson Tonight titled "What the US could learn from Sweden's refugee crisis."
Sweden's US embassy acknowledged Trump's tweet with a cordial response.
We look forward to informing the US administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies. https://t.co/x5G3euOWRh— Embassy of Sweden US (@SwedeninUSA) February 19, 2017
Since taking office in January, there have been a number of instances where Trump's senior officials have referenced attacks that did not happen.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred to a non-existent attack in Atlanta, while advisor Kellyanne Conway was ridiculed for her alternative facts gaffe regarding a fictional massacre in Bowling Green, Wisconsin.