The White House has reportedly secured better prison conditions for A$AP Rocky after his manager, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West reached out to presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner in an effort to get the rapper released from detention in Sweden.
Many believe that A$AP, who has been incarcerated for more than two weeks, is being unfairly held in relation because of a street brawl in Stockholm captured on video back on June 30.
Kardashian reportedly got in touch with Kushner after learning of the rapper’s situation, according to TMZ. Kushner then went all the way up the chain to brief Trump. The president then reportedly told Kushner he though A$AP was being unjustly detained and offered his support.
‘Thank you @realDonaldTrump, @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated,’ Kardashian tweeted on Wednesday.
Kushner was also contacted by the hip hop star’s manager John Ehmann, who complained that his client’s conditions at the Kronoberg detention center were ‘inhumane’. ‘Jared immediately got Rocky moved to better living conditions,’ Pastor Darrell Scott of the Urban Revitalization Coalition, an organization set up by the Trump administration that advised Ehmann to contact Kushner, told Page Six.
‘They had this guy in a crap hole. I don’t know if it’s a different facility [that he’s now in], but he’s at least on a different floor. It’s better surroundings,’ Scott said.
Scott told Page Six he spoke to President Trump directly about the situation as well.
‘[Trump] asked, “Do you like the guy, do you trust him?” And he said, “OK, we’ll look into it then.”‘
Scott added that ‘it was never a publicity grab.. It’s just this administration trying to help an American citizen overseas who’s in dire straits’.
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert O’Brien, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, are understood to have been apprised on the issue.
The State Department is reportedly working to get the rapper out of jail.
Previously the department raised concerns about the detention of A$AP Rocky, urging Sweden to ‘treat him fairly’ amid reports the rapper is being held in solitary confinement. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat who represents New York’s 13th Congressional District, which includes A$AP’s home neighborhood of Harlem, also called in Pompeo to do more to secure the rapper’s freedom as well as that of two others detained with him, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers.
He expressed concern that the three Americans were being held in solitary confinement.
‘It is unconscionable that young men that are doing well, they are on the right track in life, they’re very successful, they’re icons in the hip-hop community, are treated under these inhuman conditions,’ Espaillat said at a Wednesday press conference.
Sources close to the star said he was forced to sleep on a yoga mat without blankets and was housed in a cell next to a man with mental health issues who bangs his head against the wall and throws faeces ‘every which way’.
Rocky, 30, survived on an apple a day during the first five days of his incarceration because food in the facility is inedible and the water is unclean, TMZ reported.
It is understood he is now in a facility where the conditions are ‘markedly better’.
The governor of the detention center, where A$AP is being held because he is deemed a flight risk by Swedish authorities, told Page Six the prison has ‘been completely renovated’.
The rapper, real name Rakim Meyers, is being held there while police investigate a street brawl he was involved in and while prosecutors decide if they’re going to charge him with aggravated assault. In a statement to Politico, a spokesman for the State Department said: ‘There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns.
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‘We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect. We hope to see ASAP Rocky and his colleagues back on tour and reunited with friends and family soon.’
Top officials are said to be keeping a close eye on proceedings.
Swedish prosecutors must decide by Friday whether A$AP will face charges.The star’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, said: ‘President Trump has made bringing home unjustly held Americans a top priority for his administration. The State Department’s interest in the case gives us great hope for Rocky’s situation.
‘Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador O’Brien have been relentless in their diplomatic efforts on behalf of American citizens being held all over the world. Rocky’s millions of fans worldwide are putting their trust in the State Department to get Rocky home.’
Rocky was detained in Stockholm shortly after a gig in the city over video which shows him involved in a street brawl with two men on June 30.
He claims that the men kept following him, provoked him and swung at his security first, sparking the fight.
In his first court appearance a judge ordered him to be held for up to two weeks while police investigate.Another court order would then be needed if the police need more time to carry out their investigation.
Lawyers for the entertainer appealed the decision to the appeals court which upheld it, and then to the Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case.
In their initial ruling, the judge said that A$AP is a flight risk and will likely leave the country if released.
The rapper, who is in the midst of a European tour, has already been forced to cancel shows in Norway, Poland, Ireland and Britain because of the arrest.
Fans, as well as fellow musicians, have publicly urged Swedish authorities to release the American entertainer.
Rapper Travis Scott shouted ‘Free Rocky’ during his performance at the Wireless Festival in London, a festival where ASAP Rocky was scheduled to perform.
Others have taken to social media under hashtags like #FreeRocky or #FreeFlacko, which is another of ASAP Rocky’s nicknames.