Trump: I ‘Should Have Left’ UCLA Players In Jail Over Father’s Comments

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on tax policy with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump on Sunday said he “should have left” three UCLA basketball players in custody in China because one of the player’s fathers suggested Trump did not have much to do with his son’s 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!”

LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo Ball, a UCLA freshman who was detained in Hangzhou following allegations of shoplifting, on Friday said “Who?” when asked about Trump’s involvement in his son’s release from custody.

“What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing,” LaVar Ball told ESPN. “Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

Trump on Wednesday tweeted, “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!”

All three players thanked Trump and publicly apologized on Wednesday, a day after they returend to Los Angeles.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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