(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump lashed out again at LaVar Ball, the father of the UCLA basketball player who was detained in China with two of his teammates.
Ball is an “ungrateful fool” and “a poor man’s version of Don King,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday, referring to the controversial boxing promoter, “but without the hair.”
Trump also added that he secured the release of UCLA players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jaden Hill, who were arrested on accusations of shoplifting Nov. 7 while scheduled to play their season opener in Shanghai.
“LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China,” Trump said Wednesday.
After their arrest, the three college basketball players were released on bail but required to remain in their hotel in China until the legal process was over.
While in Asia on a foreign trip at the same time, Trump personally appealed to Chinese President Xi Jinping for their release back to the United States. The three players returned to the United States Nov. 14 and apologized in a news conference the next day, admitting to shoplifting and thanking Trump for securing their return home.
“I’m grateful for this UCLA team that stood strong beside us and made it possible for me to be sitting here in front of you all today,” LiAngelo Ball said in the news conference alongside teammates Riley and Hill.
He added, “I’d also like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they provided as well.”
When asked Friday about Trump’s involvement in the situation, LaVar Ball told reporters, “Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
In response to Ball’s comments, Trump tweeted Sunday that he should’ve left the UCLA players in jail.
Since his son’s release, Ball has refused to thank President Trump.
“You know where my boy is at right now because of me,” Ball said in an interview with CNN Monday evening, adding, “Don’t come in one time and think you did something for my son.”
He added, “I don’t have to go around saying ‘thank you’ to everybody.”
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