President Donald Trump tweeted that he expected to be thanked for helping three UCLA basketball players stay out of jail after they were arrested for shoplifting on a team trip to China earlier this month.
But after the outspoken LaVar Ball, whose son LiAngelo was one of the Bruins players to be detained, downplayed Trump’s involvement, the president has a new message. On Sunday afternoon, Trump said he should have left the players in jail.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
In case you missed that, the president just tweeted he should have abandoned American citizens imprisoned in a foreign country because one of the players’ fathers refused to thank him.
Ball and his UCLA teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hall admitted to stealing from stores, and they all apologized. During his trip to Asia, Trump asked China President Xi Jinping for help in resolving the case, which could have left the Americans in prison for years. Though all were suspended indefinitely from the team, they were returned to the U.S.
Which led Trump to tweet this.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2017
After they made their gratitude known, Trump returned to Twitter.
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…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017
….your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017
But when asked about Trump’s help, LaVar Ball, who has become a controversial basketball figure for his outspokenness on the greatness of his sons and his misogynist remarks, had this to say this weeek.
“Who?” LaVar Ball asked. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out. … As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. I’m happy with how things were handled.”
Though all three players thanked Trump when they returned to the U.S., the fact LaVar Ball was so public in his disinterest must have really irked the president—apparently enough to make him regret helping in the first place.