Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Pushed White House to Help With ASAP Rocky Case (UPDATE)
Rocky's holding in Sweden has been widely condemned. A hearing is set for Friday.
Image via Getty/David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns
UPDATED 07/20/19 11:05 a.m. ET: Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven issued a statement on Saturday to explain that he's happy to speak with Trump about Rocky's arrest, but the Swedish government "cannot and will not attempt to influence prosecutors or courts.
He continued, "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." He expressed his doubts that it would have a positive impact on getting Rocky home, however. "I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent," he explained. "In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries."
Trump has confirmed on Twitter that he has spoken with Löfven, and that "ASAP Rocky will be treated fairly." He said that he told the Prime Minister that Rocky "was not a flight risk" and offered to "personally vouch for his bail." The conversations between his and Löfven's teams will continue, and he said that they will speak again "in the next 48 hours."
UPDATED 07/19/19 04:15 p.m. ET: Donald Trump returned to Twitter on Friday, claiming he had recently talked to Kanye West about ASAP Rocky's incarceration. The president did not provide any details about his conversation with 'Ye, but announced he intends to call Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven in effort to help Rocky.
UPDATED 07/19/19 02:57 p.m. ET: President Donald Trump claims First Lady Melania Trump was one of the many people who has encouraged him to help ASAP Rocky.
"A$AP Rocky is a... situation in Sweden. Sweden is a great country, and they're friends of mine," POTUS told the media Friday. "[...] We are going to be calling [Sweden's leadership].We'll be talking to them—we've already started. And many, many members of the African American community have called me—friends of mine—and have said, 'Can you help him?'"
Trump said he has never met the Harlem rapper, but has witnessed the "tremendous support" he's received from not only the black community, but "from everybody in this country, because we're all one."
The president went on to say FLOTUS also urged him to assist Rocky, who has been in Swedish custody since the beginning of July. Trump then asked Melania to provide a statement on the matter.
"We'll be working with the State Department and we hope to get him home soon," she told reporters.
UPDATED 07/18/19 06:39 p.m. ET: It looks like Kim Kardashian did in fact reach out to the White House about ASAP Rocky's detention in Sweden. She took to Twitter to thank Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, and Jared Kushner.
Thank you @realDonaldTrump , @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated 🙏🏼🤞🏼 https://t.co/Ym1Rzo5Z6c
See original story below.
ASAP Rocky's ongoing situation in Sweden, the subject of a U.S. Department of State statement and words of criticism from members of the Congressional Black Caucus earlier this month, has reportedly garnered the attention of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
According to a TMZ report that dropped early Thursday, West told Kardashian to reach out to her White House connections over Rocky's widely condemned holding. This reaching out, the report suggested, was met with agreement that Rocky was being treated unfairly overseas and assistance was needed.
Earlier this week, Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Congressional Black Caucus members spoke on the involvement of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a figure in the current administration who they argue could be doing more for Rocky and the two other men currently locked up in Sweden.
"We are calling on Secretary Pompeo to do more," Espaillat said, perABC News. "This is not enough. It is unconscionable that young men that are doing well, they are on the right track in life, they're very successful, they're icons in the hip-hop community, are treated under these inhuman conditions."
Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch, meanwhile, is expected to be in Sweden for Rocky's hearing Friday.
Thursday also saw some words on Rocky's situation from Cardi B. Asked about joining other artists in a boycott of Sweden, Cardi said she's "not gonna ban a country that's shown me so much love" but does agree that Rocky should be freed.