U.S. President Donald Trump contends the "fake news media" is defending Sweden's immigration policies, claiming that massive immigration into the Scandinavian country has been a failure.
"Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!" Trump said Monday on his Twitter account.
Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2017
Trump's comment extended for another day the spat he ignited with Washington's allies in Stockholm when he suggested, erroneously, at a Saturday campaign rally that a terrorist attack had occurred in Sweden on Friday.
Trump mentioned past terrorist attacks in Europe linked to open-borders immigration, saying, "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 and they're having problems like they never thought possible."
Trump, after many Swedes mocked the comment for hours on Swedish social media sites, said his remark referred to a Fox News broadcast about migrants and Sweden that he had watched Friday, not a terrorist attack.
Journalist Ami Horowitz contended on the show that high-level Swedish officials are deliberately covering up a surge in crime, especially gun violence and rapes, committed by some of the more than 300,000 immigrants Sweden has accepted from war-torn countries since 2013.
Official government statistics show that the country's crime rate has fallen since 2005.
While Trump contended that Sweden's acceptance of the immigrants has failed, the Swedish embassy in Washington said Sunday, "We look forward to informing the U.S. administration about Sweden's immigration and integration policies."
Upon first learning of Trump's campaign rally statement, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said that democracy and diplomacy "require us to respect science, facts and media."
Her predecessor, Carl Bildt, took to Twitter, saying of Trump, "Sweden?Terror attack?What has he been smoking?Questions abound."Other Swedes joked that Trump's original comment might have been referring to a large meatball theft, an avalanche warning or police chasing a drunken driver.