Donald Trump still telling people to ‘look at what’s happening in Sweden’, despite Sweden not knowing what he’s talking about

Swedish government issues strong rebuttal of US President's claims

Harry Cockburn
Friday 24 February 2017 19:24
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Trump is still telling people to 'look at what's happening' in Sweden

Sweden is among the safest and wealthiest countries in the world, and has not experienced a terror attack since 2010, when two bombs exploded in Stockholm, killing the bomber and injuring two people.

Since then, the country has taken in far more refugees per capita than other EU member states.

Despite the significant addition to the country’s small population, crimes against life and health have actually dropped over this period.

So it remains a mystery as to why US President Donald Trump appears to believe Sweden is in the grip of some kind of crime or terror wave at the hands of immigrants.

Last weekend the President prompted international ridicule after he said: “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.”

Nothing had happened. The Swedish Embassy contacted to the White House to ask what the President thought had occurred.

Thousands of people signed up to a mock vigil at the embassy where the only victim was the President’s pride.

Mr Trump later tweeted to say his remarks were in reference to a Fox News report on refugees in Sweden. The report has since been widely discredited, including by police officers interviewed for the film, who said the editing was “shocking”.

But Mr Trump repeated his bizarre claim on Friday, asking “has anybody reported what’s going on?”

During his first address as President to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington DC, Mr Trump said: “National security begins with border security. Foreign terrorists will not be able to strike America if they cannot get into our country.

“And by the way, take a look at what’s happening in Europe folks. Take a look at what’s happening in Europe.

“I took a lot of heat on Sweden. And then a day later I said ‘has anybody reported what’s going on?’ And it turned out not too many of them did.

“Take a look at what happened in Sweden.

“I love Sweden. Great country, great people, I love Sweden. But they understand I’m right. The people over there understand I’m right. Take a look at what is happening in Sweden.”

Since Mr Trump’s first remarks about “what is happening in Sweden”, one incident of civil unrest has been recorded in an area predominantly inhabited by refugees. Stones were thrown at policemen and cars set on fire in a Stockholm Suburb. No one was seriously injured and police had the situation in hand “by midnight”.

Mr Trump’s remarks have prompted a detailed response from the Swedish government, which states that current crime levels are about the same now as they were in 2005, that the economy is strong and that law and order in the country is in a fit state of health.

The statement says: “Swedish government agencies have nothing to gain from covering up statistics and facts; they seek an open and fact-based dialogue. Sweden is an open society governed by a principle of public access to official documents. This means that members of the public, e.g. private individuals and media representatives, have the right to insight into and access to information about the activities of central and local government.”

It is worth noting that the US’s murder rate stood at 4.9 per 100,000 people in 2015, with 15,700 people killed, compared to Sweden’s 0.9 per 100,000, where about 100 people were killed.

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