Opinion

Trump Almost Had a Good PR Day Until Justin Bieber Ruined It

I’d been about to get 2019-fatigue, but Justin Bieber just showed up in time to save the internet. (And no, sadly, Tom Cruise did not agree to have that fight in the octagon). Bieber has been following the case of rapper A$AP Rocky, who has been held in a Swedish jail for the last two weeks. A$AP Rocky’s detention followed a street fight in Stockholm, and a Swedish court ruled Friday that the rapper could be held at least another week, while prosecutors determine whether to charge him with any crime.

President Donald Trump gave a cringeworthy press conference on Friday about A$AP Rocky’s ongoing plight for release. Trump, ever a friend to the black community, told reporters,”I personally don’t know A$AP Rocky, but I can tell you that he has tremendous support from the African-American community .. and when I say African-American, I really can really say from everybody in this country because we are all one.”

Friday night, Trump did a little name-dropping on the matter to remind us that while he may not be up on his rappers, he does have that one black friend.

Trump may have gained some PR ground over with his willingness to step in on A$AP Rocky’s behalf  — a much-needed communications success after the Otto Warmbier debacle.  That is, until just after midnight Saturday morning, when Justin Bieber tweeted a grammatically-deficient-yet-indisputably-effective burn. Bieber tweeted that while he appreciates Trump’s offers of assistance, Trump should “let those kids out of cages.”

Who’d have pegged Bieber to become the moral authority to focus priorities?

Trump hasn’t returned Bieber’s volley directly, but did tweet Saturday morning that he’s spoken with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and been assured that A$AP Rocky is being treated fairly.  Trump relayed that he’d even offered personally vouch for the rapper’s bail, which seems more than a little odd given that 1) Trump has never met this man before; and 2) sitting presidents don’t usually post bail for criminal defendants, even when they’re facing charges in our own country.

Personally, I’m glad to see Justin Bieber using Twitter for good, whether that means improving conditions for detained immigrants, detained rappers, or just those of us who love popsicles.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. She is a frequent media contributor, and is Of Counsel to Smedley & Lis, in Woodbury, New Jersey. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos

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