Donald Trump, the 45th U.S President, had to take to Twitter to provide more information on his allusion of a terrorist attack in Sweden. This was at a rally in Florida last Saturday that resembled more of a campaign rally than a presidential address. During the rally, Trump remarked, “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’re having problems like they never thought possible.” The comment provoked an uproar on social media platforms since there have been no reports of any terrorist incident in the country recently.
On Twitter, Trump tweeted, “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.” This was in response to a formal request from the foreign ministry of Sweden that was asking Trump for an explanation of his comments. The Swede Ministry Press officer Catarina Axelsson said to press officials, “We have now contacted the American (State Department) to understand and
Soon after Trump’s statement in the Florida rally, Carl Bildt, Sweden’s former Prime Minister tweeted, “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.” The President’s campaign-rally-like speech on Friday was part of a strategy to defend his botched Executive order that was aiming to block refugees and travelers from entering the country. These refugees and migrants were from seven majority-Muslim countries.
The Executive Order caused mass protests around Airports and elsewhere in the country until it was eventually suspended by a federal appeals court. However, the President has vowed to come up with a better crafted Executive order promising to do the same thing as the first one.
The Trump administration has been at war with the press, with officials terming it ‘The Opposition’ and aides have been emulating the president in alluding to attacks that did not take place. Kellyanne Conway once mentioned “Bowling Green Massacre” in an interview, but later tweeted that she was supposed to refer to the “Bowling Green terrorists.” However, by that time the people who had been watching her interview had probably gotten the wrong impression and gone away knowing that there had been a terrorist attack, which was false.
The quick and immediate public response on Social Media shows that it is getting harder for Trump and his administration to play fast and loose with the truth.