Donald Trump continued to have access to Twitter on Thursday, writing two new tweets about rapper A$AP Rocky a.k.a. Rakim Athelaston Mayers, who is currently detained in Sweden, after an assault incident in Stockholm. The alleged assault took place on June 30 on the streets of Stockholm, and the 30-year-old rapper has been in custody since July 3, according to the BBC.
Rocky posted two videos of the incident to Instagram, in which he said he acted in self defense after two men started to harass and follow him. “SO A FEW DRUG ADDICTS ARE NOT MY FANS , WE DONT KNOW THESE GUYS AND WE DIDNT WANT TROUBLE , THEY FOLLOWED US FOR 4 BLOCKS , AND THEY WERE SLAPPING GIRLS BUTTS WHO PASSED , GIVE ME A BREAK,” he posted with the first video.
After his arrest in early July, Rocky was detained to a Swedish prison as a flight risk. “I can see the damage they would suffer from being detained. I can understand that, but it did not outweigh the risk that they would leave the country,” Swedish prosecutor Daniel Suneson told the BBC.
In a statement released Thursday, prosecutors said that the rapper will remain in custody until the trial, which is set to start on Tuesday. Potential punishment could include a fine or up to two years in prison, according to The New York Times.
Rocky’s arrest is also bringing accusations of racism against the Swedish government. Rapper G-Eazy tweeted on July 19 that he was treated much differently when he was arrested in Sweden in 2018. “This is the sad truth,” the white rapper tweeted. “The difference between me and Rocky’s treatment in Sweden brings to mind two concepts that disgustingly go hand in hand: white privilege and systemic racism. Let’s call it what it is. He should not be behind bars right now.”
But back to the American president’s tweets. The syntax (and the capitalization, of course) is strange. “Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States,” Trump tweeted on Thursday evening. “I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly! #FreeRocky”
Trump then said Sweden owed America the release of Rocky. “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky,” the president tweeted.
Despite Trump’s tweets, the White House — nor any Swedish government representatives — haven’t reached out, according to Suneson’s interview with the BBC.
It’s unclear what obligations the Kingdom of Sweden owe “our African American Community in the United States” or what America does “so much for Sweden” that isn’t being reciprocated according to Trump. But I’m not an Scandinavian expert unless it’s one of Stellan Skarsgård’s adult sons, so I’m willing to be told I’m missing something.