US President Donald Trump lashed out at Sweden’s prime minister Thursday while demanding freedom for US rapper A$AP Rocky who is to be tried in the country on assault charges.
The comments came after a Swedish court earlier in the day decided that A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, will be tried for an alleged assault next week over a June street brawl.
In addition to the US president, the move is likely to infuriate fans already indignant over Mayers’ three weeks in custody.
“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Lofven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States,” Trump tweeted, adding: “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM.”
The case has seen repeated attempts at intervention by Trump, whose narrow path to reelection in 2020 is in part being made all the harder due to deep unpopularity among black voters.
Trump has already suggested paying bail for Mayers, despite Sweden not having bail in its justice system.
And he has repeatedly attempted to persuade Lofven to intervene, despite the premier’s reminder that the courts are independent from political leaders in Sweden — as they are in the United States.
The 30-year-old rapper was arrested on July 3 along with three other people, following the brawl in Stockholm on June 30. One of them, the rapper’s bodyguard, was later released.
Prosecutor Daniel Suneson said in a statement Thursday morning that he was pressing charges “against the three suspects for assault, because in my judgement what has happened amounts to a crime, despite the objections about self-defense and provocations.”
Part of the fight was captured in an amateur video published by US celebrity news outlet TMZ.
The rapper later published videos of his own to Instagram purporting to show the lead-up to the fight.
Mayers has said he was acting in self-defense and responding to harassment by the plaintiff, a claim with which Trump agreed.
“I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!” Trump said.