Trump Now Urges Shoplifting UCLA Players to Thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for Release

The UCLA basketball trio who were detained in China for shoplifting thanked Donald Trump for aiding them in their release, but the U.S. president urged them to show their gratitude to Chinese leader Xi Jinping as well.

President Trump initially took credit for the release of three UCLA students — LiAngelo Ball, Jaden Hill and Cody Riley — who were caught shoplifting in Hangzhou, China.

Photo via Flickr / Gage Skidmore (CC BY 2.0)

However, Trump felt that President Xi also deserved his due credit for being a vital part to the freedom of the arrested UCLA players.

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According to South China Morning Post, the shoplifting trio made a public apology on Wednesday and thanked Trump for his intervention in their case. But the U.S. president implored them to also give Xi their gratitude for making their release possible.

Trump directed a tweet to the UCLA students telling them to “Go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible.”

“HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life,” Trump added.

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Ball, Hill and Riley arrived at LAX on Tuesday after spending weeks at a hotel in China. Local authorities detained the players in China for weeks after they were caught allegedly stealing designer sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton outlet.

Trump personally asked Chinese head Xi for his consideration in regards to the release of the UCLA students during his two-day Beijing trip. Xi then promised Trump that he would look into the the case, which eventually led to the release of the shoplifting trio weeks later.

Featured Image via Twitter / @UCLAMBB; (From left) UCLA’s LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and Kris Wilkes

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