US President Donald Trump has expressed regret for mediating the release of three American basketball players accused of shoplifting from Chinese jail, after a player’s father downplayed his role in the process.
Chinese law enforcement officers arrested LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill – all UCLA students—last week on suspicion of stealing sunglasses from a luxury store while their team was staying in the city of Hangzhou.
Trump had said he had personally asked his counterpart Xi Jinping to intervene in the case. However, LaVar Ball, LiAngelo’s father, suggested the US president had little to do with the matter.
“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “I should have left them in jail!”
“Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be…