Trump threatened Sweden with a trade war to secure the release of A$AP Rocky, justice minister says

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  • Rapper A$AP Rocky was detained in Sweden in 2019 over assault allegations.
  • Then-President Donald Trump personally lobbied for the rapper’s release.
  • Sweden’s justice minister told Dagens Nyheter that Trump warned of “trade restrictions” if the star wasn’t released.

Former President Donald Trump threatened Sweden with a trade war to secure the release of arrested rapper A$AP Rocky, the country’s justice minister claimed.

Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested in Stockholm along with his bodyguard and two other members of his entourage in connection with a fight in a city-center street. 

Trump took a personal interest in the case, regularly taking to Twitter to lobby for the rapper’s release. He also offered to personally bail the rapper out, even though Swedish criminal law does not allow the practice.

He later tweeted that he was “disappointed” in Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for “being unable to act.”  

Sweden’s justice minister Morgan Johansson told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Thursday that Trump warned the Swedish government of “trade restrictions” should Rocky not be released.

“If you can try and do something like this against Sweden, what will you then try and do to slightly weaker countries that don’t have the European Union behind them?” Johansson told the Swedish newspaper. 

“This story demonstrates how important it really is to stand up for our legal principles and not to take our democracy for granted.”

Johansson went on to describe a meeting between Swedish and US officials, with Pat Cipollone, then-White House counsel representing Trump.

In the meeting, the Swedes attempted to explain that the government would not attempt to influence the judicial process, which is not permitted under the country’s constitution.

Rocky was ultimately found guilty of assault and given a suspended sentence and was permitted to return to the US after having served over a month in jail.

Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the rapper’s release, tweeting: “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!”