Nils Bildt, who was unknown to both the Swedish foreign and defence ministries, was billed by Fox as a “Swedish Defence and National Security Advisor”.
Bildt later told Swedish media that it was Fox News, not himself, who chose the official-sounding job description. Previously named Tolling, he is understood to have left Sweden in 1994 and changed his surname in 2003. He owns a security firm in the US and has previously run a similar firm in Japan.
Addressing the incident in a new episode of The O'Reilly Factor on Monday night, host Bill O'Reilly insisted that both sides of the debate had been presented, but admitted that its critics had made a valid point.
“Now, we looked into the situation and the criticism is valid. It's valid,” he said.
“Mr Bildt does consulting work on terrorism, that's true – but we should have clarified that he had no direct role with the Swedish government. To be fair, the information we gave you in the segment was accurate but in hindsight a more relevant guest should have been used on the anti-immigrant side.”
“You should also know that before the segment was booked we asked the Swedish Ambassador to appear, he declined. That invitation stands,” he added.
A transcript of his comments was also e-mailed to The Local by Fox News after the show aired.
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