Former President Donald Trump threatened Sweden with a trade war to secure the release of rapper A$AP Rocky, after the rapper was arrested in Stockholm in 2019, according to the Justice Minister of the country Morgan Johansson.
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The arrest was around a street fight in the center of the city, involving Rocky, along with his bodyguard and two other members of his entourage who were charged with assault after a 19-year-old man was injured. Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, pleaded self-defense and said he was trying to avoid a confrontation with two men who were following his entourage.
At the time, Trump took a personal interest in the case and would use Twitter to lobby for the rapper’s release, even offering to personally bail the artist out, even though the law in Sweden does not allow the practice. Trump even tweeted that he was “disappointed” in the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for “being unable to act.”
“Give A$AP Rocky his freedom,” tweeted the former president. “We do so much for Sweden, but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem.”
In his interview, Johansson said that Trump also used bullying tactics to free the rapper, including threatening to wage trade restrictions against the country. “If you can try and do something like this against Sweden,” said Johansson, “what will you then try and do to slightly weaker countries that don’t have the European Union behind them?”
When Rocky was released in August of 2019, Trump tweeted “A$AP Rocky released from prison and on his way home to the United States from Sweden. It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!”
Photo: Tina Eves