POLITICS

'Pray For Sweden,' Tweeters Giggle After Trump's Latest Stumble

20/02/2017 06:58 SAST | Updated 20/02/2017 08:35 SAST

Another day, another false alarm from the president — and then a welcome stretch of comic relief on Twitter.

Donald Trump's incredulousness at a rally Saturday that something had happened the previous night in Sweden as he was referring to European terrorist attacks had everyone scratching their heads.

"You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden," he said passionately but mysteriously. "Sweden! Who would believe this?" No one could believe it — not even Sweden, whose officials contacted the White House to find out what he was talking about. Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt asked what Trump had been smoking.

Which led to this:

Trump clarified Sunday that he was referring to something he had seen on Fox News, apparently an interview with conservative filmmaker Ami Horowitz who linked a purported rising crime rate to thousands of refugees Sweden has welcomed to its country. The nation took in more refugees per capita than any other country in Europe in 2015.

It was all great fuel for the Twitter fire that erupted with snarky rejoinders at #LastNightinSweden, #PrayForSweden, #SwedishIncident and #IStandWithSweden. Critics especially enjoyed juxtaposing Trump's implied terror attack against the reality of a pretty, tranquil, sometimes even downright dull Sweden.

J.K. Rowling got in on the fun after Swedish news reported that the big story in the country on "terror day" was the rescue from a well of a horse named Biscuit. "Make Biscuit dry!" Rowling rallied with a new hashtag.

There were the inevitable quips (including one from Chesea Clinton referring to Trump aide KellyAnne Conway's mention earlier this month of the nonexistent "Bowling Green Massacre" and White House spokesman Sean Spicer's reference to a nonexistent terror attack in Atlanta. The man the president spoke so glowingly of earlier this month, the late Frederick Douglass, appeared to resurrect again vowing to save Sweden.

There had to be some comments about Ikea of course.

And, inevitably, Stockholm syndrome raised its frightening head.