- The Washington Times - Monday, February 20, 2017

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois Republican, said President Trump’s recent comment alluding to problems in Sweden was “obviously embarrassing” but said it probably isn’t going to have far-reaching diplomatic consequences.

“It’s obviously embarrassing and I think it … shouldn’t have been said,” Mr. Kinzinger, a member of the House foreign affairs committee, said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“It’s an embarrassing moment. [In] the broad scheme of things, this isn’t a huge international incident,” he said. “I think about if a foreign leader said hey, last night in the United States there was a terrorist attack and there wasn’t, I don’t think that would lead to a break-off of diplomatic relations.”

“But I think it feeds into the narrative that the president has got to be a little more caged with his words and that words really do have an impact on these kinds of things,” he said.

Rep. Tony Cardenas, California Democrat, said later on the program that Mr. Trump is “instilling fear in people.”

“He’s making up stories. He’s not even checking the facts. But he’s the president of the United States — he’s got the biggest megaphone, perhaps, in the world,” he said.

“And it’s very disturbing that in this democracy we have somebody who’s being so irresponsible that he’s actually trying to scare the American public,” Mr. Cardenas said. “But also at the same time, he’s damaging relationships around the world.”

“My gosh — with Sweden. Who doesn’t get along with Sweden?” he said.

At a rally in Florida on Saturday, Mr. Trump was talking about broader migration problems when he said “you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” prompting a frenzy among the media and Swedish officials to figure out whether he was referring to a specific incident that had occurred Friday night.

Mr. Trump later clarified he was referring to a Fox News segment on Sweden and immigrants that had aired the previous night.

“Sooner or later, maybe Congress should have to start investigating whether or not the president of the United States is actually violating laws when he’s making things up and he’s hurting our relationships,” Mr. Cardenas said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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