Donald Trump Wants UCLA Basketball Players to Thank Him for Intervening in China Case

Three UCLA basketball players were arrested last week in China for shoplifting. 
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President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that the three UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China last week should thank him for his role in helping to resolve the case. 

LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were arrested for stealing designer sunglasses from a store near the team’s hotel during a trip to Shanghai for a game against Georgia Tech.

The players were reportedly expected to serve 20 days of house arrest in the hotel but returned to the United States on Tuesday. Trump tweeted Wednesday that the players were facing 10 years in prison. 

Trump learned of the players’ arrest from staffers who saw the news on CNN shortly before the president dined with Chinese president Xi Jinping, according to the New York Times.

“Our president said to Xi, ‘Do you know anything about these knuckleheads that got caught allegedly stealing?’” Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, told the Times. “The president was saying, ‘It’s not too serious. We’d love to see this taken care of in an expeditious way.’”

The school thanked “the president, the White House and the U.S. State Department for their efforts towards resolution” in a statement announcing Tuesday that the players had boarded a plane home.