- US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland gave public testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
- He named rapper A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, numerous times throughout his testimony.
- President Donald Trump had advocated for Mayers after he was jailed in Sweden in July over assault charges, leading to his early release.
- Sondland testified that he and President Donald Trump had discussed Mayers in a July 26 phone call.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When you think of rapper A$AP Rocky, impeachment hearings probably don’t come to mind. And yet, Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, was a surprise focal point of testimony made by US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland during the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
Sondland mentioned Rocky several times throughout his testimony, saying he and President Donald Trump had discussed the rapper during a July 26 phone call.
Rocky spent a month in a Swedish jail after he was detained in July over an altercation in Stockholm. He was found guilty of assault on August 14. He was released from custody on August 2 after President Donald Trump lobbied for his release, and was not ordered to return.
“It is true that the President speaks loudly at times. It is also true that we discussed A$AP Rocky. It is true that the President likes to use colorful language,” Sondland said in his opening statement.
Later in the testimony, when Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman asked why he had not mentioned the July 26 call in his initial closed-door testimony.
The phone call was mentioned by US diplomat David Holmes, who in a closed-door testimony on Saturday said he heard Sondland tell Trump that he should let Rocky “get sentenced, play the racism card, and give him a ticker-tape when he comes home.”
Sondland said he had later remember the call, thanks to the rapper being mentioned: “What triggered my memory was someone’s reference to A$AP Rocky.” He said the phone call mostly focused on Rocky being in jail, and not Ukraine military aid.
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Throughout the testimony, Rocky was mentioned at least three more times, mostly in reference to the phone call.
Also during the testimony, Sondland confirmed Trump’s quid-pro-quo arrangement with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and said Trump instructed him to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure the Ukrainian government into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Business Insider has contacted Rocky, his agent, and record label for comment.
- Read more:
- People are comparing Trump’s EU ambassador to Tekashi 6ix9ine for ‘snitching’ on everyone in the impeachment inquiry
- The GOP warned Ambassador Sondland that he’d be ‘smeared’ by Democrats in the impeachment hearing before turning around and smearing him themselves
- 7 officials confirmed Trump tried to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens as part of a quid pro quo — here’s the list
- Ambassador Sondland looks like he’s having the time of his life at the impeachment hearing
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