Donald Trump ‘threatened Sweden with a TRADE WAR’ in a bid to secure release of A$AP Rocky after rapper’s arrest for assault in Stockholm, Nordic country’s justice minister claims
- White House sought rapper’s release on ‘national security’ grounds: deputy PM
- Trump threatened trade war and economic ‘restrictions’ during diplomatic duel
- Rocky, or Rakim Mayers, was later found guilty of assault after beating up man
- He was handed a suspended sentence – but has vowed not to return to Sweden
President Trump warned Sweden he would launch a trade war on the nation if it failed to release US rapper A$AP Rocky, the country’s justice minister has revealed.
A$AP Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, was arrested in Stockholm three years ago after he and two bodyguards were filmed beating up a fan outside a burger joint.
Footage showed three men hitting and kicking Mustafa Jafari before jabbing him with a broken bottle.
Mayers’ legal team claimed Jafari had harassed and racially abused the rapper.
Trump, pictured during a TV interview yesterday, allegedly threatened ‘trade restrictions’
The 33-year-old Grammy nominee’s arrest and detainment in a Stockholm prison cell for over a month triggered a rare diplomatic fracas between Sweden and the US.
Rapper Rocky (pictured in Los Angeles last month) had his cause taken up by Kanye West, Melania Trump, and the White House
President Trump tweeted his support for Rocky after being made aware of the case by wife Melania and supportive rapper Kanye West.
Trump wrote: ‘Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Lovfen for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States.
‘I watched the tapes of ASAP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers.
‘Treat Americans fairly. #FreeRocky’.
Swedish justice minister Morgan Johansson said yesterday that Trump threatened ‘trade restrictions’ if Sweden did not swiftly release Mayers.
Trump also claimed to have contacted the European Commission for support, Johannsson said.
The official, who also serves as interior minister and deputy PM, told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter: ‘This story demonstrates how important it really is to stand up for our legal principles and not to take our democracy for granted.
Johansson (pictured at a press conference) is justice minister, interior minister and deputy PM
‘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 added that Trump was represented by White House lawyer Pat Cipollone.
Cipollone was informed that Sweden’s politicians had no sway at all over judicial proceedings under the country’s constitution.
Johansson, pictured attending an awards ceremony in Stockholm two weeks ago, revealed the discussions in a new interview
He unsuccessfully sought to wrangle Rocky’s release on national security grounds.
Mayers was ultimately convicted of assault and handed a suspended sentence.
The performer is allowed to return to Sweden – but reportedly vowed not to do so.
He was arrested in April on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after a shooting in Hollywood last November.
He is currently out on bail and touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Mayers is dating Rihanna, who gave birth to their first child in mid-May.
Rocky was set to open the California band’s gig at Old Trafford last week, but showed up so late that he played afterwards instead.
The rapper and the Chili Peppers will play a pair of sold-out gigs in Germany later this month.
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