Trump demands rapper's freedom, 'disappointed' by Swedish PM

Washington (AFP) –


President Donald Trump lashed out at Sweden's prime minister and demanded freedom for US rapper A$AP Rocky on Thursday after a Swedish court said the star will be tried on assault charges.

"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 30-year-old rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested on July 3 along with three other people, following a brawl in Stockholm on June 30. Mayers said he was acting in self-defense.

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.

He has also repeatedly tried 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.

Trump's latest tweets used language echoing complaints made against other traditional US allies that Trump has pulled into tense disputes over trade and military cooperation.

"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!" Trump said.

According to Trump, footage of the violent incident involving Mayers supports his claim to have been responding to attack.

"I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!" Trump said.

However, Swedish prosecutor Daniel Suneson said in a statement Thursday that there was enough evidence to send Mayers to trial.

"I have had more material to consider than what has been available on the internet," he said.