U.S. President Donald Trump defended himself Sunday, saying that he had been refering to a Fox News report by networks rising star Tucker Carlson when he seemingly made up a terrorist attack he said during a rally on Saturday had taken place in Sweden the day before.
"My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants and Sweden," Trump tweeted from his private account.
My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2017
The tweet was noticeably toned down compared to his usual posts to his account that often include exclamation points, capitalized words and more aggressive language.
The president made his comments at a campaign-style rally in Florida during which he cited "what's happening last night in Sweden" in defense of his executive order shutting down U.S. bound travel for refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries.
The Swedish government was baffled by the statement, saying that no major security incidents had taken place in the country and demanded clarification from the Trump administration.
A White House spokesperson also defended Trump, saying that he was refering to reports of rising crime in Sweden.
The Fox News segment Trump was apparently taking note of was an interview with Ami Horowitz, a filmmaker who filmed a documentary about immigration to Sweden and a related rise in crime. Tucker Carlson, who conducted the interview, replaced Megyn Kelly after months of a high-profile media feud with Donald Trump and has since skyrocketed in the ratings with a pro-Trump message.
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