Donald Trump on LaVar Ball downplaying his role UCLA shoplifting case: 'I should have left them in jail!'

By Scooby Axson
November 19, 2017

President Donald Trump responded to the LaVar Ball on Sunday, after the father of UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball said that Trump had no hand in getting his son and two others released from jail after they were caught shoplifting in China almost two weeks ago. 

Trump, who says he saved the three players years in jail, tweeted that LaVar Ball was "unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!"

Trump later added, "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!"

Michael Del Moro of ABC reached out to LaVar Ball about Trump's tweets, and Ball asked why Trump "wasn't more focused on important things," according to Del Moro.

"Did he go visit them in jail?" LaVar Ball told Del Moro. "Did you go visit them in jail? If you went to visit them in jail I would say, 'thank you.'"

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill admitted to try to steal from three different stores at a mall across from the team's hotel in Hangzhou and apologized for their actions. They also thanked Trump for whatever hand he had in getting them released.

LaVar Ball downplayed his son's shoplifting incident in China and Trump's involvement.

“”Who?” LaVar told ESPN when asked about Trump's involvement. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”


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Ball, Riley and Hill were suspended indefinitely from the team. The players can't be associated with the team in any way during the suspension, meaning they can't go to home or away games or even be allowed to practice.

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