- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Two days after President Donald Trump was eviscerated by both the mainstream media and Swedish officials for his comments indicating Sweden was having a problem with its generous refugee policies, riots erupted in the country.

Mr. Trump was largely mocked for the comments he made at a Florida rally over the weekend, where he used Sweden has an example to justify his extreme vetting policy.

“We’ve got to keep our country safe,” Mr. Trump said at the rally. “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’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt swiftly took to Twitter to mock the U.S. president.

Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” Mr. Bildt tweeted, linking to a Huffington Post article titled: “Donald Trump appears to make up Sweden terror attack. It didn’t happen.”

It was retweeted multiple times by prominent U.S. journalists.

Mr. Trump clarified his remark Monday, tweeting: “Give the public a break The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!”

He said prior to the rally he had watched a segment on Fox News “Tucker Carlson Tonight” which featured filmmaker Ami Horowitz who had personally documented the surge in refugee violence in Sweden.

Still, Sweden wanted nothing to do with it.

Max Karlsson, who manages the official @sweden account, went on a Twitter rant over the weekend, condemning Mr. Trump and defending his country’s policies.

“We have around 100 murders per year. That’s like two days in the U.S. Two. Days,” he wrote.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom also got in on the act.

“The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Sweden’s embassies work continuously to disseminate an accurate and fair image of Sweden. Unfortunately, we are seeing a general upward trend in inaccurate information,” she said in a statement.

Monday, Sweden’s current Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, in a joint press conference Monday with Canadian Governor General David Johnson, said of Mr. Trump’s comments: “Let me put it like this: I was, like many other I believe, surprised by the comments made about Sweden this weekend. Sweden like many other countries, we have opportunities, we have challenges, I believe that goes for every country in the world.”

That very same evening, riots erupted in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, in an area predominately inhabited by refugees.

“The neighborhood, Rinkeby, was the scene of riots in 2010 and 2013, too,” The Washington Post reported.

On Monday night for “over four hours, the crowd burned about half a dozen cars, vandalized several shopfronts and threw rocks at police. Police spokesman Lars Bystrom confirmed to Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter newspaper that an officer fired shots at a rioter but missed. A photographer for the newspaper was attacked by more than a dozen men and his camera was stolen, but ultimately no one was hurt or even arrested,” The Post wrote.

In 2015, Sweden took in the largest number of refugees, per capita of any European nation, many of them from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although the Swedish Crime Survey says the country’s crime rate has decreased since 2005, official statistics also show that foreign-born residents account for the lion’s share of crime in Sweden, including assault, robbery, rape and murder, the Washington Times has reported.

Monday night offered a glimpse into those statistics. Guess Mr. Trump had a point, after all.

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