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Should have left US basketball players in Chinese jail: Trump

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Washington: Lashing out at the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players freed earlier this month after being arrested in China for theft, US President Donald Trump said that he should have left them in jail.

Trump responded to the father of LiAngelo Ball, who on Friday downplayed the importance of the role Trump played in obtaining the release of the three players after one of them shoplifted a pricey pair of sunglasses from a store near their hotel, Efe news reported.

“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!” Trump tweeted.

Trump on November 15 claimed credit for the release of the three players, saying that it was thanks to his intervention with Chinese President Xi Jinping that they avoided “10 years in jail” in the Asian nation.

The three players with the UCLA Bruins, arrived back in Los Angeles on November 14, about a week after being arrested and accused of stealing the sunglasses in the city of Hangzhou.

Trump, who returned from his 13-day Asian tour this past week, visited Beijing shortly after the young athletes were arrested and spoke with Xi about the situation.

UCLA has suspended the three players indefinitely.

IANS

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