Fox News’s ‘Swedish defence advisor’ unknown to country’s military officials
After Donald Trumps infamous whats happening in Sweden comment, Nils Bildt was billed on The OReilly Factor as Swedish national security advisor
Swedish military and foreign-affairs officials have said they know nothing about a man who appeared on Fox News in the US billed as a Swedish defence and national security advisor.
Swedes, and some Americans, have been wondering about representations of the Scandinavian nation in the US since President Donald Trump invoked whats happening last night in Sweden while alluding to past terror attacks in Europe during a rally on 18 February. There was no major incident in Sweden the previous night.
Following Trumps comments, Fox News commentator Bill OReilly convened an on-air discussion on Thursday over Swedish immigration and crime between a Swedish newspaper reporter and a man identified on screen and verbally as a Swedish defence and national security advisor, Nils Bildt.
Bildt linked immigration to crime and social problems in Sweden, lamented what he described as Swedish liberal close-mindedness about the downsides of welcoming newcomers and said: We are unable in Sweden to socially integrate these people.
But the Swedish defense ministry and foreign office told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter they knew nothing of Bildt. Calls to Swedish officials on Saturday were not immediately returned.
Bildt is a founding member of a corporate geopolitical strategy and security consulting business with offices in Washington, Brussels and Tokyo, according its website. His biography speaks to expertise on defence and national security issues, saying his experience includes serving as a naval officer, working for a Japanese official and writing books on issues ranging from investment and political climates to security issues with working in hostile environments.
But security experts in Sweden said he was not a familiar figure in their ranks in that country.
He is in not in any way a known quantity in Sweden and has never been part of the Swedish debate, Swedish Defence University leadership professor Robert Egnell said by email to The Associated Press on Saturday. He and Bildt also known then as Nils Tolling were in a masters degree program in war studies together at Kings College London in 2002-2003, and Bildt moved to Japan soon after, he said.
The executive producer of The OReilly Factor said Bildt was recommended by people the shows booker consulted while making numerous inquiries about potential guests.
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.
The network said OReilly was expected to address the subject further on Mondays show.
Bildt didnt respond on Saturday to email inquiries; a person who answered the phone at his company agreed to relay one. He told Dagens Nyheter on Friday that he was a US-based independent analyst, and Fox News had chosen its description of him.
Sorry for any confusion caused, but needless to say I think that is not really the issue. The issue is Swedish refusal to discuss their social problems and issues, he added in a statement to the news website Mediaite, explaining his profession as being an independent political adviser.