President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail Saturday, only a month after taking office, and held a rally in Melbourne, Florida. Part of his campaign stop was returning to his usual hate-filled rhetoric, and of course, inventing new things for Americans to be afraid of.
Turning his attack to immigration and refugees, Trump warned that if America opened its border and didn’t reenact the Muslim ban, the country could face the same fate as those in Europe, especially Sweden.
“When you look at what’s happening in Germany, when you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden!” Trump said, trying to defend the overturned executive order. “Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never like they never thought possible.”
There is only one problem with this claim. Nothing actually happened in Sweden. The Sweden terrorist attack is just like the Bowling Green Massacre that was touted by Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway, and White House spokesperson Sean Spicer’s Atlanta terrorist attack; imaginary.
Sweden is currently taking in a large number of refugees, the same ones that Trump is trying to turn away, and it seems that Trump just assumes that by letting refugees into Sweden they must be undergoing endless attacks.
It may have been inspired by a misunderstood FOX News report by pathological liar and general scumbag Tucker Carlson, which alleged that the Swedish authorities were covering up crimes by refugees, a common narrative among right-wingers across the world.
With Trump claiming that the mainstream media in the US is nothing but fake news, it didn’t take long for Twitter to explode with the hashtag #FakeNews and users mocking the president for his world of terrorism make believe.
So Bowling Green Massacre, an incident in Sweden( not really). Are we doomed to repeat history that never happened?
— Colin Mochrie (@colinmochrie) February 19, 2017
BREAKING: Cellphone footage of last night's terrorist attack in Sweden pic.twitter.com/VHp8GaS1NB
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) February 19, 2017
Trump on terrorism: And what happened last night in Sweden was terrible…
Donald, there was NO incident last night in Sweden.#FakeNews
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) February 19, 2017
the real crime here in Sweden is being committed on a daily basis. Swedes eating pizza with a fork. Pizza massacre, sad!
— Kitty Stardust (@ElliottBord) February 19, 2017
TRUMP: Just look what happened to Sweden!
ME: [googles Sweden to find Abba and salted herring] GOOD GODSee Also
— 🌈 Brosephine Wires (@JoParkerBear) February 19, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who weren't effected by terrorism in Sweden. There wasn't blood everywhere… #LastNightInSweden
— Peter Glickert (@PeterGlickert) February 19, 2017
(I live 10 miles from Sweden) Swedish news outlets are bemused/baffled by this. He's the master of fake news.
— Buller Glem (@bullerglem) February 19, 2017
Nope, no terrorist attack in Sweden yesterday, but there was one 16 days ago. On a refugee center. By Neo-Nazis: https://t.co/Jupt2e1f6M
— John Mark Ockerbloom (@JMarkOckerbloom) February 19, 2017
What do you think?
Dan Arel is a bestselling author of The Secular Activist; and Parenting Without God. He is an award-winning journalist and host of the Danthropology Podcast.