Sweden asks the US to explain Trump comment on Sweden

Protesters take part in a Women's March in Stockholm on Jan 21, 2017, one day after the inauguration of the US President.
Protesters take part in a Women's March in Stockholm on Jan 21, 2017, one day after the inauguration of the US President.PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) - The Swedish embassy in Washington has asked the USState Department for an explanation of a comment made by President Donald Trump that suggested there had been some sort of security incident in Sweden on Friday .

The US President was speaking at at a political rally in Florida on Saturday (Feb 18, 2017) when, in connection with the mention of a need to keep the United States safe, he said: "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."

Trump did not elaborate on the Swedish reference, leaving many Swedes baffled.

"We have asked the question today to the state department. We are trying to get clarity," said Swedish foreign ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom apparently responded on Twitter with the remark "owing to certain circumstances", followed by a passage from her speech in parliament last week on Sweden's foreign policy.

The passage read: "In 2016, 'post-truth' was named Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries. Both functioning democracy and constructive cooperation between states require us to speak with, and not about, each other, to honour agreements and to allow ideas to compete. They also require us to respect science, facts and the media, and to acknowledge each other's wisdom."

Many Swedes on Twitter mocked Trump's remark using the hashtag #LastNightInSweden.

Former Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt also took to Twitter, saying: "Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound."