Forget what you may have read on Twitter.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today that President Donald Trump “was happy to intervene” on behalf of the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China on shoplifting charges this month.
After initially doing a victory lap, and encouraging the young athletes to “have a great life,” Trump singled out the controversial father of one of the players, LaVar Ball. He appeared to downplay the president’s role in securing the his son LiAngelo’s release in an interview with ESPN, prompting Trump to fire back on Twitter that perhaps he “should have left them in jail.”
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. I should have left them in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
Sanders said Trump took issue with Ball’s remarks but insisted, on three separate occasions, that the president was nonetheless pleased to have come to the aid of American citizen.
“The president was certainly very glad to see the release of the UCLA athletes,” Sanders said. “It’s really fortunate that the president has built a strong enough relationship with [Chinese] President Xi that he was able to secure their release.”