Sometimes, getting the facts right about certain things can be hard — but it shouldn't be difficult to at least try and cross-check things before blurting them out, especially when you're the President of the United States. During a rally in Florida on Saturday, for example, President Donald Trump cited a recent terror incident in Sweden as further proof that the recent influx of refugees fleeing their home countries was supposedly making the world a more dangerous place — except that, well, that "incident" never actually happened. Within no time at all, people on Twitter were having a field day and flooding the internet with a wave of #SwedenIncident tweets that only served to prove just how ridiculous that state of politics had become.
"Awkward" might be an understatement for what occurred over the weekend. During a rally in an airplane hanger in Melbourne, Florida Saturday, Trump was talking about immigration in Europe, according to The Guardian, and cited attacks in Belgium and France as examples of how the refugee influx had gone wrong, and to justify his executive immigration orders in the United States. During the rally, Trump also cited an attack in Sweden that supposedly happened on Friday — but the thing is, there was never a terror attack in Sweden. There was, however, an attack in Sehwan, Pakistan on Friday, according to The Guardian, which could have confused him, but it was still a strange moment, to say the least.
"Sweden, who would believe this?" the president said during the rally. "Look at what is happening last night in Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible."
Trump's remarks baffled Sweden, according to The New York Times, and very well baffled users on Twitter, who took to the site to share their confusion, frustration, and even make fun of the commander-in-chief.
Trump's major gaffe is reminiscent of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway citing the "Bowling Green Massacre" to justify Trump's travel ban in January. Conway's misstep was made fun of by those on Twitter — and she later apologized for her mistake. Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also brought up a deadly attack in Atlanta, carried out by someone from overseas, according to CNN — but that attack never happened, either.
The irony is thick in this situation. In a nation where the president continues to call out valid and legitimate news sources for reporting "fake news," Trump and Conway citing attacks that never happened only highlight the hypocrisy even more and emphasize the importance of the media's role in informing the public about incidents that do happen all over the world.
Trump's citation of "what happened in Sweden" is just another glaring misstep coming from his administration. Although the things that "happened in Sweden" may have never occurred, Trump's gaffe did provide people with one thing — the ability to get a good laugh out of the incident.