Trump Talks to Swedish Leader About Rapper A$AP Rocky, Offers to ‘Personally Vouch for His Bail’

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
July 20, 2019 Updated: July 20, 2019

President Donald Trump said on July 20 that he had spoken on the phone with the Swedish Prime Minister about rapper A$AP Rocky, adding that he had offered to “personally vouch” for the New York artist’s bail.

Trump said during the call, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven assured him that the rapper will be treated fairly.

“Just had a very good call with Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly. Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative. Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!” Trump tweeted early on July 20.

Rapper A$AP Rocky, whose birth name is Rakim Mayers, has been in Swedish prison since earlier in the month after he turned himself in to authorities for questioning regarding a street fight he was apparently involved in, according to Politico. A person close to the rapper told the newspaper that the fight was initiated by men who verbally attacked and followed A$AP Rocky and his entourage, who were in Stockholm for a music festival.

Stockholm’s District Court said in a statement on July 19 that it had granted a request from prosecutor Daniel Suneson to hold A$AP Rocky in custody for another week until July 25.

Trump told reporters on July 19 during a White House event that he was trying to secure the release of the rapper.

The president said the issue was first brought to his attention by his wife, as well as his African-American friends who had personally called him for help to release the artist.

“Actually, the one that knew about A$AP Rocky first was our First Lady. She told me, ‘Can you help A$AP Rocky?’” Trump said before asking Melania if she wanted to make a statement.

Melania said she had been working with the State Department to get the rapper released. Rocky was born in Harlem, New York City.

“We hope to get him home soon,” she said.

Trump noted the good relationship he had with Sweden’s leadership and said they have “already started” talks with them in relation to the rapper’s situation.

Epoch Times Photo
President Donald Trump, disembarks Air Force One upon arrival at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., on July 19, 2019. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)

“I personally don’t know A$AP Rocky, but I can tell you that he has tremendous support from the African American community in this country,” he added. “When I say African American, I think I can really say from everybody in this country because we’re all one.”

“I have been called by so many people to help A$AP Rocky,” the president said.

A day before Trump’s comments, Kim Kardashian West took to Twitter to thank Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and White House adviser Jared Kushner for their commitment to free Rocky.

“Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated,” she added in the Twitter post.

Löfven issued a statement earlier on July 20 saying he would be glad to speak with Trump about A$AP Rocky’s detention but that his government “cannot and will not attempt to influence prosecutors or courts.”

“I understand that President Trump has a personal interest in the case. … He has expressed the desire for a conversation with me, which is certainly positive,” Löfven said. “I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent. In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries.”

Bowen Xiao and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.