Last week, Donald Trump said, while giving a speech on the impending doom that will result if the US government allows Muslims from his list of seven countries into the United States, that Sweden was the subject of some non-existent security event involving Muslims.
“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,” Trump said at the rally.
However, according to Sweden officials, nothing happened in Sweden.
According to Business Insider, the allegation sent pundits and political observers scrambling to find evidence of any such incident in Sweden — and they came up empty. Swedish foreign ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson said her office contacted the US state department for clarification. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt even chimed in, mocking Trump’s dubious claim on Twitter.
“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” Bildt said.
Later, trump would admit that his erroneous comments on Sweden came from a report he saw on FOX News.
“My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” Trump tweeted on Sunday.
In case you’ve missed the rabid fear-mongering about the influx of Muslim refugees, supposed ‘think tanks’ and ‘institutes’ have put out unverified numbers claiming the refugees are raping and pillaging the citizens of Sweden — en masse.
However, according to the Swedish government, there has been no such spike in rape or crime and these numbers are at a 20-year low.
Of course, government is not always honest and there is certainly a chance they could be covering up some of these attacks. However, there is also no evidence to support some of the outlandish claims of thousands of rapes a day. The Free Thought Project suspects the truth may be somewhere in the middle.
However, if you plan on getting that truth from FOX News, you should think again.
On Thursday’s edition of The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly brought on a guest named Nils Bildt, who was introduced as “a Swedish defense and national security advisor,” to discuss Sweden’s refugee policies.
During the segment, Bildt argued that Swedish authorities “are unable … to socially integrate” refugees, and claimed that, as a result, “There is a problem with socially deviant activity, there is a problem with crime, [and] there is a problem with areas or hotspots of crime” in Sweden.
Bildt alleged that these “problems” are“not being openly and honestly discussed … because if you don’t agree with the liberal, shall we say, common agenda, then you are viewed as an outsider or not even taken seriously.”
Sounds rational enough, right?
However, let’s consider just who Nils Bildt is. According to the Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, Marie Pisäter at the Swedish Defense Ministry says that no-one called Nils Bildt works there. ”We have no spokesman by that name,” she said. The Foreign Office also denies that he works there. ”We do not know who he is.”
According to DN, Nils Bildt is the son of Sven Tolling, well known in Swedish equestrian circles. Nils Bildt emigrated from Sweden in 1994. Nine years later, he changed his last name from Tolling to Bildt, and he now runs several security companies in the United States. His last known address, according to Swedish registers, is in Tokyo. It is unclear if his companies are still in business.
Bildt has himself been convicted of a violent offense in the US and was given a one-year prison sentence in 2014, according to Dagens Nyheter, which cited documents from Arlington General District Court in Virginia.
When news broke that Bilt was not who he claimed to be on FOX, he wrote an email selling out the editors who incorrectly referred to him using the title of advisor.
“I participated in Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News. I had no control over the choice of title, which was made by Fox News’ editor. I am an independent analyst based in the USA,” wrote Bildt.
In this hostile environment, finding the truth is essential to maintaining peace. However, it seems, FOX News, at least Bill O’Reilly, has no interest in the truth.