Reason Roundup

Kamala Harris Says Trump Advocacy for A$AP Rocky 'Needs to End'

Plus: Section 230 saves Facebook from Russian trolls, Trump vetoes Saudi arms bill, and more...


Harris breaks from other Democrats on A$AP Rocky's release. It's not unusual to see senator, former prosecutor, and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris arguing to keep people incarcerated. So it's no surprise that she hasn't joined fellow Democrats in protesting Sweden's questionable detainment of musician A$AP Rocky.

Nor is she simply sitting this one out. Harris apparently sees this as an opportunity to score points against President Donald Trump, who has been fighting for Rocky's release.

The entertainer has been detained in Sweden since July 3, following a physical altercation that he claims was self-defense on his part. "Video of the incident posted to Instagram does show [A$AP Rocky] and his entourage repeatedly telling two men to leave them alone," notes Vice.

Authorities in Stockholm have yet to bring any charges against Rocky and his friends—but they also are declining to let him go, and they reportedly have held him in solitary confinement part of the time. A court hearing to determine next steps is scheduled for today.

In the meantime, everyone from Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber to members of Congress have been advocating for A$AP Rocky's release. Several Democratic members of the House of Representatives even put out a formal statement expressing concern. "The widely circulated video evidence clearly show that these men were accosted, harassed, and followed, all while maintaining tremendous poise," it says.

"This is not justice and this particular instance sheds light on how men of color, particularly black and brown men, are often detained, targeted and incarcerated despite their innocence, including in European countries," said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D–N.Y.) at a press conference earlier this month. "We're concerned that there is a deliberate and premeditated attempt from the prosecutor to indict these young men, who were victims themselves, not the aggressors."

But when Harris was asked about A$AP Rocky during an NAACP presidential forum on Wednesday, she had nothing to say about the potential misuse of power by Swedish prosecutors. Instead, she used the opportunity to slam Trump for his advocacy on the musician's behalf.

"There's no question that this White House is, has been playing politics with his role of leadership, and it has to end," Harris responded.

"So you're saying this is another piece on the rap sheet of Donald Trump, this misuse of power in the A$AP Rocky case?" moderator April Ryan followed up.

Harris agreed. Then, asked to speak up, she pivoted away from the actual issue at hand and try for another rah-rah viral clip moment. Mediaite reports:

"Okay. All right, say it loud," Ryan said.

"Yes," Harris said, louder this time, then added with a laugh "And I'm black and I'm proud!"

"Wait say that again, I didn't hear you. What did you say?" Ryan said.

"Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud!" Harris replied.

"Alright, then," Ryan said.


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