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Donald Trump and Kanye West, Trump Tower, 2016
Donald Trump and Kanye West, Trump Tower, 2016

Donald Trump calls for A$AP Rocky’s release after speaking to Kanye

Then, as if that isn’t surreal enough already, Justin Bieber gets in on the action

A$AP Rocky has been held in Swedish custody since early July on suspicion of assault (despite claiming, with video evidence, to have been acting in self-defence). Because of this, the rapper has missed shows and there have been concerns that he’s being held in “inhumane conditions”, prompting a petition that has gained over 600,000 signatures and support from Tyler, the Creator, Nicki Minaj, and Naomi Campbell, among others.

Maybe the most notable supporter of Rocky’s release though, as of yesterday, is Donald Trump. Yep. “Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration,” Trump tweeted July 19. “I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky.”

Of course, Kanye and Kim have shown their willingness to engage with Trump before, sometimes with very positive results. The president’s support of the #JusticeForRocky campaign does seem a little convenient, though, given that he’s in the middle of being accused by many as a racist, kind of like saying, “well yeah but I’ve got this one black friend...”.

Also, the added diplomatic weight doesn’t seem to have done a whole lot of good (not yet, at least). According to Page Six, Rocky’s jail time has now been successfully extended by a week.

Justin Bieber, meanwhile, has approached Trump’s call for the rapper’s release from a different angle. “I want my friend out.. I appreciate you trying to help him,” he wrote on Twitter this morning (July 20). “But while your at it @realDonaldTrump can you also let those kids out of cages?”

While Rocky’s situation is obviously unpleasant and will hopefully be resolved sooner rather than later, the singer has a pretty good point. It’s difficult for Trump to denounce detaining someone in inhumane conditions for an unnecessary period of time without sounding like a hypocrite.

Update: Donald Trump has since tweeted again, writing: “Just had a very good call with @SwedishPM Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly. Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative. Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!” Apparently Sweden doesn’t actually have a bail system; we’ll have to wait and see where the situation goes from here.