WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Trump spent Sunday in Palm Beach, Florida, meeting with candidates to replace ousted National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and fielding criticism over remarks he made Saturday about alleged immigration problems in Sweden.
Flynn resigned nearly a week ago after admitting he gave incomplete information about phone calls with Russian officials before Trump took office. Army strategist Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, actiing National Security Adviser Keith Kellogg and West Point Superintendent Lt. Col. Robert Calsen are reportedly on the president’s short list.
On Sunday morning, White House officials downplayed claims from a high-ranking Republican senator that the Trump administration is in disarray, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported.
“The fact of the matter is, the level of accomplishment that he’s put forward so far in the first 30 days has been remarkable,” Reince Preibus said.
Priebus said the problem was what he called “bogus stories.” He specifically called bogus a New York Times story saying the Trump administration had repeated contact with Russian officials, and another from the Wall Street Journal saying that the intelligence community is not giving Trump full briefings.
Swedes have been scratching their heads and ridiculing President Donald Trump’s remarks that suggested a major incident had happened in the Scandinavian country.
During a rally in Florida on Saturday, Trump said “look what’s happening last night in Sweden” as he alluded to past terror attacks in Europe. It wasn’t clear what he was referring to and there were no high-profile situations reported in Sweden on Friday night.
The comment prompted a barrage of social media reaction on Sunday, with hundreds of tweets, and a local newspaper published a list of events that happened on Friday that appeared to have no connections to any terror-like activity.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson said that the government wasn’t aware of any “terror-linked major incidents.” Sweden’s Security Police said it had no reason to change the terror threat level.
“Nothing has occurred which would cause us to raise that level,” agency spokesman Karl Melin said.
Axelsson told The Associated Press that the Swedish Embassy in Washington contacted the State Department on Sunday to request clarification of Trump’s remarks and was waiting for an answer.
Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted, “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.”
Trump provided some clarity on Twitter Sunday, saying his comments were “in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants and Sweden.”
At the rally, Trump told his followers to look at what was happening in Germany, where a truck attack at a Berlin Christmas market killed 12 people. He also mentioned Paris, Brussels and Nice, in apparent reference to the terror attacks there.
The president didn’t specify what was supposed to have happened in Sweden, simply saying “Sweden, who would believe this, Sweden.”
Its most recent attack linked to extremism happened in the capital, Stockholm, in December 2010. An Iraqi-born Swede detonated two explosive devices, including one that killed him but no one else.
In New York, hundreds protested Trump’s plans for a travel ban on people from seven predominately Muslim countries.
All of the diversity and unity here today should make a statement to the White House that we love our Muslim community here in America and we’re here for them,” organizer Russell Simmons said.
A federal court halted Trump’s first attempt at the travel ban. On Sunday, the Department of Homeland Security drafted sweeping new guidelines to aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants.
Under the draft guidelines, DHS secretary John Kelly seeks to “expeditiously hire” 10,000 more enforcement agents and 5,000 Border Patrol officers.
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