Trump’s Sunday: The inside story on nonexistent Sweden incident
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday remains in Florida, where he will be interviewing candidates in Palm Beach to replace the ousted Mike Flynn as national security adviser.
Trump will mark his first month in office on Monday, Presidents Day.
More below on Trump’s questionable reference to Sweden at his Saturday rally near Orlando and the clarification Trump said via a Twitter post on Sunday.
First, here’s the Trump Sunday NSA interview lineup, so far:
Trump will talk to Army strategist Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, acting National Security Adviser Keith Kellogg, and West Point superintendent Lt. Col. Robert Caslen.
There could be “potentially more” contenders, the White House said.
It is not clear, according to a pool report, if the interviews will be in person or on the phone.
For those keeping a list
Former CIA director David Petraeus is out of the running for the NSA post. Former Army Chief of Staff and retired Gen. Ray Odierno may still be in play. Retired Navy Vice Admiral Robert Harward did not want the job.
Trump also will be huddling over Obamacare repeal and replace strategy with Health and Human Services Tom Price and White House Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney.
NONEXISTENT SWEDEN INCIDENT
Now about that reference to Sweden Trump made at his Saturday airport rally in Melbourne, Florida.
In defending his travel ban executive order aimed at seven majority-Muslim nations, Trump mentioned a problem occurring, he said, “last night in Sweden.”
“When you look at what’s happening in Germany, when you 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.”
Backstory: There was no incident Friday night in Sweden.
On Sunday, the Swedish Government asked the Trump White House for an explanation in a Twitter post from the Swedish Embassy in the U.S. “Unclear to us what President Trump was referring to,have asked US officials for explanation.”
Later in the day, Sweden got it, when Trump said in a Twitter post his reference was to a report on Fox News.
After Trump delivered his comments on Saturday, one of the leading Swedish newspapers, Aftonbladet, posted a story with the headline, “In English: This happened in Sweden Friday night, Mr President.”
There was no terrorist event Friday night in Sweden.
From Aftonbladet: “While speaking about keeping America safe he mentioned the major terrorist attacks in Nice, Paris and Brussels – and in the same sentence he pointed out an unspecified event in Sweden Friday evening.
“You look at what happened last night in Sweden,” he said.
“Mr. President, here is what happened in Sweden Friday night,” the article said, offering an hour-by-hour breakdown, starting at 3:24 p.m. local time and ending at 12:17 AM with this dispatch:
“Police officers initiated a chase for a fleeing Peugeot through central parts of the Swedish capital of Stockholm. The pursuit ended in police officers ramming the suspect at Engelbrektsgatan. The driver is now accused of driving under the influence, traffic violation and car theft.”
Sunday: What prompted Trump’s Sweden reference
Trump said in Twitter post at 3:57 p.m. Eastern Time, “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.”
That is a reference to a segment on FOX News host Tucker Carlson’s Friday night show.
From Business Insider report: “However, Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran an interview on Friday night’s broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with documentarian and media personality Ami Horowitz, who presented a clip from a new film documenting alleged violence committed by refugees in Sweden. The segment went on extensively about a supposed crime surge in Sweden and its links to immigrant populations.
“Crime rates in Sweden have stayed relatively stable, with some fluctuations, over the last decade, according to the 2016 Swedish Crime Survey.
“This isn’t the first time that there has been a correlation between Trump’s statements and programming on cable news, of which he is a noted fan.
“In late January, Trump tweeted about gun violence in Chicago shortly after after an “O’Reilly Factor” segment on the same topic, which cited the same statistics and even used the word “carnage,” a recent favorite noun of Trump’s.”