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Trump Admits Fox News Source of Fake Swedish Terror Attack Claim

President Donald Trump is caught up in yet another “alternative fact”-based “fake news” gaffe. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr Creative Commons)

Embarrassed by yet another “alternative fact”-based “fake news” gaffe, President Donald Trump on Sunday admitted that the Islamist terror attack he falsely suggested happened last night in Sweden was something he saw on Fox News.

Trump was widely ridiculed over the weekend after he mentioned Sweden along with Germany and Belgium as victims of recent Islamist terrorist attacks. “We’ve got to keep our country safe,” Trump said in defense of his blocked executive order temporarily banning refugees, immigrants and other travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations during a campaign-style speech in Melbourne, Florida. “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, they are having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening Brussels, you look at what’s happening all over the world.”

There have been Islamist terror attacks in Brussels and in Germany. But there have been no such attacks in Sweden. Trump’s remarks are causing considerable confusion there.

“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt tweeted. The Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC tweeted “We look forward to informing the US administration about Swedish immigration and integration policies.”

With the hashtag #LastNightInSweden trending on Twitter, Trump took to his favorite social platform Sunday morning to explain his comments were informed by an interview he saw on Fox News — a network whose viewers have been repeatedly found to be the least-informed. “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” the president tweeted.

Trump had been watching a segment of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News in which documentarian filmmaker Ami Horowitz, known for his inflammatory anti-Muslim work, claimed Swedish officials are covering up crimes committed by immigrants, especially rapes — an assertion that has been repeated in many “fake news” headlines on Breitbart.com and other conservative sites, but which simply is not true.

Henrik Selin, deputy director of the Swedish Institute, a government agency that promotes Sweden around the world, told the New York Times he did not “have a clue what [Trump] was referring to… Obviously, this could be connected to the fact that there has been a lot of negative reporting about Sweden, since Sweden has taken in a lot of refugees.”

Selin slammed Islamophobic media reports as “highly exaggerated and not based in facts,” adding that “some of the stories were very popular to spread in social media by people who have the same kind of agenda — that countries should not receive so many refugees.”

Speaking about the alleged Swedish government cover-up of immigrant crimes, Selin said “that kind of claim has been in the political debate for 15 years now. But nobody has been able to prove there is a cover-up. On the contrary, the fact is that crime rates are going down.”

Swedish and international news media relished the opportunity to mock Trump’s latest “alternative fact.” The leading Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published a list of “everything that happened last night in Sweden,” including a man who set himself on fire, a police pursuit of a drunken driver and a concupiscent moose that “thrice humped” a wooden moose in an old man’s garden. No terror attacks.

“What happened in Sweden Friday night?” tweeted a bemused Chelsea Clinton, “Did they catch the Bowling Green Massacre perpetrators?”

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