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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# Stockholm Syndrome
'What has he been smoking?' - Donald Trump suggests there was a terror attack in Sweden
Spoiler: There wasn’t.

White House Intelligencer / YouTube

SPEAKING ABOUT TERRORISM at his campaign-style rally in Florida last night, Donald Trump told his supporters about an incident “happening last night in Sweden”.

The only problem? There was no incident in Sweden.

Certainly no terror incident anyway and Swedes are lining up to tell Trump that all is okay.

Here’s what Trump said:

Here’s the bottom line. We’ve got to keep our country safe. 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. You look at what’s happening Brussels, you look at what’s happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris.

While it’s unclear exactly what Trump was referring to, he certainly lumped Sweden in with a number of other terror incidents. So it’s fair assumption that many people who listened to him thought there was a similar incident in Sweden on Friday night.

To be clear, there was not.

Swedish outlet Aftonblat reports that there was an incident in Stockholm in which a man set himself on fire in a city plaza. Police haven’t said, however, what this man’s motivations were.

Many Swedes were baffled by Trump’s comments and #LastNightInSweden began trending on Twitter.

“What has he been smoking?,” tweeted Sweden’s former prime minister Carl Bildt.

There is an explanation for Trump’s comments, however.

It’s been noted previously that Trump’s unscripted comments or tweets often reflect what’s recently been on cable TV news.

Well, it just so happens that Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran an interview on Friday night with documentary maker Ami Horowitz.

Horowitz presented a clip from a new film that documents alleged violence by refugees in Sweden. The segment went on extensively about a supposed crime surge in Sweden and its links to immigrant populations.

As Business Insider points out however, crime rates in Sweden have stayed relatively stable.

Fox News / YouTube

So is that what Trump was referring to? It seems likely, but his awkward phrasing makes it either accidentally or purposely ambiguous.

His use of the word ‘happening’ rather than ‘happened’ suggests he was referring to ongoing problems instead of a specific one.

‘Last night’ makes this unclear though, and perhaps he was thinking of Fox’s report from the previous night when he was speaking.

Regardless, what he said certainly created the impression that there was a terrorist incident in Friday in Sweden. Which there wasn’t.

Whether that was Trump’s intention or not, that’s another question.

Read: Donald Trump returns to his brash comfort zone with fiery ‘Make America Great Again Rally’ >

Read: Pence vows ‘unwavering’ support for Nato as he receives praise from Bono at European meeting >

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