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White House Says Trump Was Speaking 'In General' About Troubles In Sweden

U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to make a reference to a terror attack in Sweden at a rally on February 18 even though no such attack had occurred.

The White House has responded to complaints from Sweden after President Donald Trump made a comment that seemed to indicate a terror attack had occurred in the Scandinavian country.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on February 19 said Trump was speaking "in general," not about a specific incident when he referred to "what's happening last night in Sweden" during his campaign-style event on February 18.

She said the specific reference was to a Fox News report he had seen, but he was talking about "rising crime and recent incidents, in general."

Trump himself tweeted on February 19 that his remark was "in reference to a story that was broadcast on Fox News concerning immigrants & Sweden."

Fox ran a report on February 17 about alleged migrant-related crime problems in Sweden, which has accepted proportionately large numbers of immigrants.

"You look at what's happening last night in Sweden," Trump told the crowd in Florida as he alluded to past terror attacks in Europe.

"Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible," he said.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson said the Swedish government wasn't aware of any "terror-linked major incidents."

She added the ministry has contacted the U.S. State Department for clarification.

Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted: "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound."

The Aftonbladet newspaper wrote: "This happened in Sweden Friday night, Mr. President," and reported in English about a man being treated for severe burns, an avalanche warning, and police chasing a drunken driver.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa