Donald Trump reportedly threatened a trade war with Sweden over the imprisonment of ASAP Rocky.
The rapper was arrested and charged with assault in 2019 after a video emerged of him attacking a fan on the street. Trump used his social media presence to fight for Rocky’s freedom and relentlessly posted about the case, even saying he was “very disappointed” in Sweden’s then-prime minister Stefan Lofven.
“Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM,” Trump infamously said on Twitter. “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!”
In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Thursday, the country’s justice minister Morgan Johansson said the former US president also warned the Swedish government of “trade restrictions” should ASAP Rocky not be released.
Allegedly, he told Stockholm he had already approached the European Commission, the head of the European Union, for support. However, it is unknown whether Trump was bluffing.
“This story demonstrates how important it really is to stand up for our legal principles and not to take our democracy for granted,” the minister and MP argued. “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?”
Rocky was eventually found guilty in a Swedish court, and he was handed a suspended sentence.