The White House had reportedly hoped Trump’s advocacy for Rocky would help his image in the black community.
President Donald Trump reportedly wanted rapper A$AP Rocky to issue a public “thank you” to the president for his somewhat futile attempts to pressure the Swedish government to release the rapper from jail.
But Rocky refused, and stopped returning texts from the White House after he got out.
Trump had hoped that his public advocacy for the rapper would help his image with black voters, according to a Yahoo News report. “Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration,” Trump tweeted in July. “I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!”
Those entreaties turned out to be futile, and a Swedish court convicted Rocky of assault, sentencing him to the time he’d already served awaiting trial and two years of probation. Rocky had spent a month in Swedish jail.
Hours after Rocky got out of jail, the White House was expecting a public thank you from the rapper, or some sort of acknowledgment that Trump had lent a hand in his release. That was reportedly the only condition of the White House’s involvement. There were no other strings attached.
And Rocky’s team had promised to thank Trump’s people. “If a serial killer gets Rocky out of jail, I would have no problem saying thank you to the serial killer,” Rocky’s manager reportedly told Trump’s surrogates.
But once Rocky was out, his manager started making excuses. He said the rapper was tired, and needed time to travel and rest. Within two days after he was freed, Rocky’s team stopped responding to text messages from Trump’s people altogether.
Rocky wouldn’t even thank the White House behind the scenes.
“All he had to do was do a two-minute call to say thank you,” said Darrell Scott, an Ohio pastor and Trump surrogate who helped to advocate for the rapper’s release. “Rocky hasn’t even called us and said, ‘Hey, man, thank you, guys. I appreciate it,’ in private. Just in private.”
Rocky was detained by Swedish authorities after getting into a brawl on a Stockholm street. He was deemed a flight risk and detained for over a month while his case was investigated, and he was finally released Aug. 2, when his trial wrapped up.