Trump Wishes He Left ‘Ungrateful’ Shoplifting UCLA Players in Chinese Jail

President Donald Trump lashed out at LaVar Ball for downplaying his role in the release of the latter’s son, LiAngelo Ball, from detention in China after shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store with two other UCLA basketball players.

In a tweet on Sunday, Trump highlighted that Ball was “unaccepting” of what he did and wished that he did not help at all:

“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. I should have left them in jail!”

Trump was responding to Ball’s comment to ESPN when asked about the president’s involvement in his son’s release.

“Who? What was he over there [on the Asian trip] for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out,” he said.

LiAngelo Ball

A few hours later, the president posted another tweet that stressed the gravity of the offense and called Ball “very ungrateful”:

“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!”

Trump reportedly spoke to President Xi Jinping on the players’ behalf during his China visit. Less than 24 hours after their conversation, LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were back in the U.S.

Jalen Hill

While experts in Chinese law told USA Today that a severe punishment is unlikely, Trump maintained that the players were facing up to 10 years in prison before he intervened, the outlet said.

Trump acknowledged the situation of the trio last week, wondering:

That gratitude was indeed expressed on Wednesday, when the three thanked him by name in a press conference.

Ball, Hill and Riley were arrested on Nov. 7 for shoplifting at a Louis Vuitton store. It was later revealed that they actually stole from three stores near their team’s hotel.

Cody Riley

To this, Trump responded:

“To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You’re welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!”

Featured Images [Cropped] via Flickr / Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0), Instagram / Lavar Ball

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