US President Donald Trump is still negotiating with Sweden to free caged rapper A$AP Rocky, claiming he’ll “vouch for” his bail.
Trump is being lobbied by celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West to have the musician removed from police custody – yet Sweden’s criminal justice system doesn’t include bail.
He tweeted on Saturday that during “a very good call” with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, he “assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative”.
Urged on by the first lady and celebrity friends, the president tweeted that he would continue intervening to try to free Rocky.
He said on Saturday: “Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!”
The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has been in custody over an alleged fight.
Rocky, 30, has remained behind bars for several weeks while Swedish police investigate a street brawl in Stockholm that he was allegedly caught up in before appearing at a music festival.
Videos published on social media appear to show a person being thrown onto the ground by Rocky. But his defence lawyer has said he had acted in self-defence.
He was arrested for gross assault after the altercation, along with two other people.
The decision to detain the trio was made by a court.
Rocky is a platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist whose real name is Rakim Mayers.
His case has earned the attention of a string of high profile celebs, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes.
He’s also been publicly backed by the likes of Jada Pinkett Smith, reality star Kris Jenner, Nicki Minaj, rapper Post Malone, as well as Kim Kardashian West, who has worked with the Trump administration on criminal justice reform issues.
After Trump’s intervention, Toni Eriksson, press secretary of Prime Minister Lofven, confirmed that the leaders had chatted in a way that “was friendly and respectful and lasted about 20 minutes”.
Eriksson added that Lofven “made certain to emphasise the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts.
“He underlined that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”
The two leaders might have a follow-up call, “but nothing has been booked or planned,” she said.
Lofven had issued a statement earlier on Saturday saying he would be glad to speak with Trump about A$AP Rocky’s detention.
Before they spoke, he said: “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.”
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A senior administration official at the White House, speaking anonymously, told Associated Press that Kardashian West had reached out to Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, to tell him about the situation on behalf of Kanye, a fan of the president.
Kushner then briefed Trump, according to the official, who said Trump felt the case was worth looking into and directed his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to see what could be done.
The State Department said that it was following the case, but declined to give the media details, citing privacy considerations.
Providing help to US citizens detained abroad is one of the department’s most important functions, it said.