Nils Bildt appearing on Fox News.
Nils Bildt appearing on Fox News. Credit: Fox News.

'National security advisor' unknown in Sweden

"I was not aware of what title they would use"
1:36 min

The American television channel Fox News incorrectly presented a man as a defense and national security advisor for Sweden even though he himself said has never worked with the Swedish military or government.

The 24-hour news network featured Nils Bildt as a guest on Thursday's "The O'Reilly Factor" program, and identified him onscreen and by the host with the title "Swedish defense and national security advisor."

Bildt was part of an on-air debate with a reporter from the Swedish newspaper Expressen about possible connections between immigration and crime in Sweden.

Speaking with Swedish Radio on Sunday, Bildt maintained that Fox News chose his title without him knowing. He went on to say that he runs his own security firm in America after emigrating there in 1994.

Bildt, whose real name is Nils Tolling, said:

I was not aware of what title they would use, I did not even say anything about Swedish just international consultant and advisor."

During his appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" Bildt said immigration and crime rates in Sweden were linked. He also said Sweden was unable to hold an open debate about the issue of immigration.

The image of Sweden has been a topic of debate in recent days after US President Donald Trump told a rally to "look what's happening last night in Sweden" during a speech disparaging immigration policies in Europe.

Fox News recent featured a filmmaker whose documentary "Stockholm syndrome" links recent immigrants to Sweden to a claimed spike in violent crime.

When asked if he was the right person to answer questions about the current situation in Sweden, given the fact that he has lived abroad for the past two decades, Bildt said he still visits and keeps in touch with colleagues and friends in the country.

Responding to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, producer for "The O'Reilly Factor" David Tabacoff wrote that Bildt was recommended to the show and they believe he was the right choice for the debate.

"Our booker made numerous inquiries and spoke to people who recommended Nils Bildt and after pre-interviewing him and reviewing his bio, we agreed that he would make a good guest for the topic that evening," Tabacoff wrote.

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