Politics

Trump Asks Whether UCLA Basketball Players Will Thank Him For Avoiding Chinese Prison

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump wondered over Twitter Wednesday whether three college basketball players will thank him after they avoided prison time in China for shoplifting.

“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” Trump tweeted.

University of California, Los Angeles, players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were all arrested last week in China for allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store. The arrest came as President Trump was visiting China, among other Asian countries.

“The basketball players, by the way — I know a lot of people are asking — I will tell you, when I heard about it two days ago, I had a great conversation with President Xi. What they did was unfortunate. You know, you’re talking about very long prison sentences. They do not play games,” Trump said aboard Air Force One Tuesday. “He was terrific, and they’re working on it right now. And hopefully everything is going to work out. And I know they’re very grateful because they were told exactly what happened.”

When the players landed in Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday night they did not make any comments even when asked if they have a message for President Trump.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the trio will avoid charges.