A year after President Donald Trump was caught making up a story about a terrorist attack in Sweden, he used the fabrication to defend his continued assertions about the country's immigration situation.
During a news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, a Swedish journalist asked Trump a broad question about his view of immigration policies in Sweden.
“Now that you spend some time with our prime minister, how do you view Sweden, in general?” the reporter asked. “What is your take? And also on our immigration politics?”
The president responded, in part, by referencing statements he made last year about a fabricated act of terrorism:
“Certainly you have a problem with the immigration,” Trump replied. “It's caused problems in Sweden. I was one of the first ones to say it. I took a little heat, but that was okay, because I proved to be right.”
Trump was referring to remarks he made at a rally in Melbourne, Fla., in February last year. Discussing the threat of terrorism in Europe, 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? They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible.”
At the time of his comments, no one in the United States, Sweden, or anywhere else was aware of an attack, but Trump explained that his information had come from Fox News.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders then further explained that Trump was merely “talking about rising crime and recent incidents in general and not referring to a specific incident.”
TRUMP: I talked about Sweden, and may have been somewhat different, but the following day, two days later, they had a massive riot in Sweden, exactly what I was talking about. I was right about that.
TIME: But even in that Sweden quote, you said, “Look at what happened on Friday in Sweden.” But you are now saying you were referring to something that happened the following day.
TRUMP: No, I am saying I was right. I am talking about Sweden. I’m talking about what Sweden has done to themselves is very sad, that is what I am talking about. That is what I am talking about. You can phrase it any way you want. A day later they had a horrible, horrible riot in Sweden, and you saw what happened.
A year later, Trump still believes his made-up story about a terrorist attack in Sweden has been vindicated.