A full four years ahead of the 2020 presidential elections and just 30 days into his presidency, President Donald Trump is already on the campaign trail in Melbourne, Florida. Never mind all the times he ranted and railed against President Obama for stumping for Hillary Clinton while serving as president, that was then and this is now.
Trump defended his most controversial act so far – the Muslim ban set in place by an executive order restricting travel by natives of seven majority Muslim countries – that has so far sparked massive protests, kept visa and green card holders from their homes and schools, and caused a giant mess before being struck down by a federal court. Trump really doesn’t like that more people won’t get behind his idea, so he did what he is so often wont to do.
He told a horror story to justify it…except it wasn’t true.
‘When you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden – Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.’
There was no terrorist attack the night before Trump’s rally. In fact, the lie was so completely ridiculous that Sweden’s former prime minister, Carl Bildt, took to Twitter to express his confusion about Trump’s words.
Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound. https://t.co/XWgw8Fz7tj
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 19, 2017
Analysts and political news pundits can only guess what was behind the blatant falsehood – other than Trump’s desire to stoke his supporters extreme Islamaphobia – but the best answer may be a story from Fox News. On Friday night, documentarian Ami Horowitz appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show and tried to connect a recent uptick in crime with Muslim refugees who sought asylum in Sweden.
Horowitz insisted that the crime rate, as well as a “rash of rapes at musical festivals,” are directly related to Sweden’s open border policy. Sweden took in more asylum seekers than most any other country with the exception of Germany and has been the most popular place for those from war-ravaged countries to flee for people under the age of 18.
Former Prime Minister Bildt later retweeted an assurance that the perpetrator of the fictional terror attack is already being sought.
— Neil Macdougall (@DougallChops) February 19, 2017
Featured image via Getty/Joe Raedle