“I Should Have Let Them Rot In Jail” – Trump Slams Shoplifting Basketballer’s Father
President Donald Trump on Sunday shot back at Lavar Ball, the father of one of the UCLA basketball players arrested in China, for belittling the President’s role in the students’ release.
“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal,” Trump tweeted.
“I should have left them in jail!”
Later Sunday evening, the President tweeted again, saying,
“Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead.
China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”
However Ball suggested the President had little to do with the matter.
“Who?” Ball told ESPN when asked about Trump’s role in the situation. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
LiAngelo Ball, along with two other players, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were arrested last week on suspicion of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store while their team was in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. Trump had said he personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to intervene in the case.
On Wednesday, Trump issued a call for gratitude from the players.
“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” he tweeted.
The President received the thanks of the players at a news conference later that day, where they also apologized for their behavior. Trump later issued a follow-up message to the students on Thursday, wishing them a “great life.”