This Fox News 'Expert' Is Actually Fake News
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Feb 28, 2017,
Feb 28, 2017, 0:49
Bildt, who was billed as a "Swedish defense and national security adviser", largely backed a narrative promoted by President Trump that portrays asylum seekers as being responsible for an increase in violent crimes in the country.
Marinette Nyh Radebo, a spokeswoman for Sweden's defense ministry, said Bildt has never worked for the Swedish government or the country's armed forces.
According to Dagens Nyheter, Nils Bildt was born Nils Tolling, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1994 and changed his name in the early 2000s. He is listed as one of the founders of Modus World LLC, a company that provides consulting "and management of possible kidnap and ransom situations".
"I made clear that I am an independent analyst", he told the newspaper via email.
Fox News, however, is standing behind its claim that Bildt was a qualified guest. According to Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's Defense Ministry and its Foreign Office both denied employing anyone under that name ("We do not know who he is", the Foreign Office said), while a member of Sweden's Military Intelligence and Security Service told the paper that Bildt is "unknown in Sweden as an expert on national security". On one side of the issue was a Swedish newspaper reporter Anne-Sofie Naslund, who argued against the notion that immigration was making her country risky.
Swedes, and some Americans, have been wondering about representations of the Nordic nation in the USA since President Donald Trump invoked "what's happening last night in Sweden" while alluding to past terror attacks in Europe during a rally February 18.
UK's smallest city is saying 'no' to Trump
Labour MP Lucy Powell, who was also on the programme, said she opposed the visit on the basis that it was "premature". Tory lawmaker Edward Leigh said canceling the state visit would be "catastrophic" to the trans-Atlantic relationship.
"After pre-interviewing him and reviewing his bio, we agreed that he would make a good guest for the topic that evening", executive producer David Tabacoff said in a statement.
"Sorry for any confusion caused, but needless to say I think that is not really the issue", Bildt said in a statement to the website Mediaite.
Egnell said that Bildt had left the program early and moved to Japan, after which they had gradually lost touch. The question: Has Sweden's lenient immigration policies, especially with regard to refugees, resulted in an uptick in crime?
The remarks and the person himself triggered controversy in Sweden, and people flocked on twitter or other social media to mock the "Bildt" and Fox News.
Speaking to Dagens Nyheter, security expert Wiktorin had suggested Bildt's interview was a "disturbing trend" in US media where Sweden is presented as a "problem country".