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Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

20 November, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Joan Malone
  • Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

The president was apparently responding to LaVar Ball's comments to ESPN playing down his son's shoplifting incident in China and Trump's involvement in getting his son and two other UCLA players back to the United States last week. Donald Trump vs. LaVar Ball is the new rivalry of the future.

"Who? What was he over there for?"

"Everybody wants to make it seem like [Trump] helped me out", the elder Ball told ESPN on Friday. Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly told the Times the president was instrumental in their release, bringing it up with China's Xi Jinping. Before they thanked Trump on Wednesday for intervening with Xi, Trump had wondered whether they would express gratitude to him.

Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes'. "They were headed for 10 years in jail!" he tweeted.

The Twitter tantrum comes in response to former basketball player LaVar Ball brushing off any role Trump had in his son's release from a Chinese prison.

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Which somehow manages to both be accurate - Trump was making it a bigger deal - and totally cavalier about committing crimes in foreign countries - shoplifting in China is different than shoplifting in L.A.!

LaVar Ball told ESPN that while he was pleased with how the situation in China was handled, he feels like it was overblown.

Fredricka Whitfield spoke with Stelter this afternoon on how "the way this President prioritizes is very confusing to a lot of people".

While all three thanked Trump in a press conference after the fact, LaVar Ball's resistance to acknowledge that his son received help led to the Twitter storm.

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said the players had stolen items from three stores when students were given 90 minutes of free time to explore the city and relax. "I've seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses", he said.

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