President Trump is rallying to the defense of American rapper A$AP Rocky who is still detained in Sweden after he turned himself in following a violent incident.
The rapper, whose legal name is Rakim Mayers, and his bodyguard were involved in an incident in which they were attacked and responded in self-defense, they allege.
President Trump took to Twitter to reveal that he had spoken with rap music icon Kanye West about the incident and that he was in communication with the Prime Minister of Sweden to work to get the rapper back to the United States.
“Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration,” Trump tweeted. “I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!”
Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration. I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2019
The support for Mayer and Trump’s intervention is huge as the tweet received more than 600,000 likes at the time of publication and more than 187,000 retweets—a record for Trump.
The president followed up his tweet with another on Saturday which offered an update on his conversation with the prime minister:
….Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2019
According to Politico, the State Department is aware of the case and is working to get the American and his group home:
Top officials at the department, including Robert O’Brien, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, are also closely monitoring the situation and working to make sure the rapper is treated fairly.
“There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns,” the spokesperson said. “We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect. … We hope to see ASAP Rocky and his colleagues back on tour and reunited with friends and family soon.”
Swedish prosecutors must decide by Friday whether to charge Rocky, who is being held in solitary confinement, or ask a court to let them hold him longer.
Mayer’s lawyer, Alan Jackson told Politico: “President Trump has made bringing home unjustly held Americans a top priority for his administration. The State Department’s interest in the case gives us great hope for Rocky’s situation.
He added, “Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador O’Brien have been relentless in their diplomatic efforts on behalf of American citizens being held all over the world. Rocky’s millions of fans worldwide are putting their trust in the State Department to get Rocky home.”
Here’s more on the incident, also via Politico:
Rocky and his entourage, who were in Stockholm for the Smash music festival, were walking around the city “minding their own business” on June 30 when they were verbally harassed by two men who had started following them, according to a person close to the rapper.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.