Trump says his wife and African-American friends told him to help rapper A$AP Rocky

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

President Trump said Friday that his wife and several African-American friends personally appealed to him on the behalf of rapper A$AP Rocky, who has been detained in Sweden for nearly two weeks, as police investigate an alleged assault. Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West have lobbied Mr. Trump to advocate on behalf of A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, as first reported by TMZ.

"Sweden is a great country, they are friends of mine, the leadership," Mr. Trump said of his conversations with Swedish leaders about Rocky's detention. "And we are going to be calling. We will be talking to them. We've already started."

"Many, many members of the African American community have called me, friends of mine, and said, 'could you help?' So I personally don't know A$AP Rocky but I can tell you he has a lot of support from the African American community in this country," Mr. Trump continued. "And when I say African American, I can really say from everybody in this country, because we are all one."

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The president also heard about Rocky from first lady Melania Trump. "Actually the one who knew about ASAP Rocky was our first lady, right? She was telling me about 'Can you help ASAP Rocky?'" Mr. Trump then asked his wife if she wanted to make a statement.

"Well, we will be working with State Department, and we hope to get him home soon," the first lady said.

Kardashian West tweeted her gratitude to Mr. Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for intervening on Rocky's behalf Thursday.

"Thank you @realDonaldTrump , @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated 🙏 [fingers crossed emoji]," Kardashian West wrote.

Kardashian West has ties to the White House thanks to her advocacy regarding criminal justice issues. She was a driving force behind the commutation of Alice Johnson and recently returned to the White House to speak at an event promoting the hiring of prisoners released early under the First Step Act, the criminal justice reform law Mr. Trump signed into law in December.

According to TMZ, Kareem Lanier and Pastor Darrell Scott of the White House's Urban Revitalization Coalition also played a role in lobbying the administration to help Rocky.

First published on July 19, 2019 / 3:02 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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