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.
The Fox News broadcast containing Bildt's interview describes Sweden as a country plagued by crime problems related to immigration.
Fox News host and controversial peddler of alternative facts Bill O'Reilly interviewed "Swedish Defense and National Security Adviser" Nils Bildt on Thursday, in an effort to back up the claims made about Sweden's immigration in a Fox segment that is thought to have inspired Trump's #lastnightinSweden comments.
"There is a problem with socially deviant activity, there is a problem with crime", he said, adding that "these things are not being openly and honestly discussed".
Mainstream Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter quoted Marie Pisäter, employee of the Swedish Defense Ministry, saying that no one by the name of Nils Bildt works there. Bildt is also known as Nils Tolling, according to the AP. His resume cites his work as a naval officer.
But security experts in Sweden said he wasn't a familiar figure in their ranks in that country.
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Egnell, who went to college with Bildt, said he moved to Japan over 12 years ago.
"I appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox News", Bildt told Dagens Nyheter in an email.
Bildt didn't respond Saturday to email inquiries; a person who answered the phone at his company agreed to relay one. Swedish officials, backed up by statistics, say that crime has been relatively flat for years in the country (and a fraction of US crime) even though Sweden accepted record numbers of refugees in 2015.
"Sorry for any confusion caused, but needless to say I think that is not really the issue".
On February 19, President Donald Trump bewildered Swedes by invoking "last night in Sweden" while alluding to past European terror attacks. And he was emboldened after a riot broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood following a drug arrest last Monday.