Trump Praises President Xi After Release of Arrested UCLA Basketball Players: ‘He Was Terrific’

The three UCLA basketball players arrested in China for shoplifting have been released, following personal intervention from President Donald Trump — who discussed the topic with China’s President, Xi Jinping.

Cody Riley, Jalen Hill, and LiAngelo Ball (the brother of L.A. Lakers star rookie Lonzo Ball, and the son of entrepreneur LaVar Ball — who has become a favorite of ESPN and Saturday Night Live for what many see as over-the-top promotion of his sons) are headed back to the U.S. with the matter reportedly having been resolved.

Speaking with the press pool on Air Force One, Trump opened up about his chat with Xi.

“I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Trump said. “What they did was unfortunate. You are talking about long prison sentences. They dont play games.”

Trump appeared to condemn the actions of the three players charged with shoplifting. He also seemed to counter the comments of LaVar Ball, who told an ESPN reporter that his son’s arrest “ain’t that big a deal.”

“It’s a very, very rough situation with what happened to them,” Trump said. He added, “President Xi has been terrific on that subject. It’s not a good subject. Not something that should have happened.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[featured image via screengrab]


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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo