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Trump rips ungrateful father of UCLA basketball player: ‘I should have left them in jail!’

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President Donald Trump responded Sunday to the outspoken father of UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball, who dismissed the president’s role in getting his son and two teammates released from China after being arrested on shoplifting charges.

The father, LaVar Ball, expressed little gratitude during an ESPN interview.

Trump tweeted: “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!”


The elder Ball was asked Friday about President Trump’s involvement in getting his son safely out of China.

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

Trump drew the ire of the liberal media last week when he wondered aloud whether the three players would thank him for his efforts — they did once back in the states.

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(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The father also downplayed his son’s alleged illegal behavior.

“As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine,” Ball told ESPN. “I’m happy with how things were handled.”

“A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there,” he continued. “Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.’ I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses.”

Tom Tillison


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