Trump Fished For ‘Thank You’ From 3 UCLA Basketball Players In China Arrest — Bait Taken At Press Conference?

While Donald Trump was in China, he intervened on behalf of three UCLA basketball players who were being held on charges of suspected shoplifting in China. This is a serious matter when it comes to the law in China, and the three players were facing up to 10 years in prison each if they were convicted.

The three men were accused of stealing designer sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store adjacent to the hotel where the team was staying while touring and playing games in China. Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the case, and he didn’t make this request a secret.

The three UCLA basketball players, LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley, were taken into custody the day before Trump touched down in China. Fox News confirmed that Trump asked China’s president personally for his help in this matter. This is a country whose prosecutors have a 99.2 percent conviction rate, as a previous Inquisitr article reports. Fox News Live covered the press conference given by the three UCLA players on Wednesday. According to Fox News, the trio is now home, but they would probably still be in jail if Trump hadn’t stepped in.

Fox News Live suggests on Wednesday afternoon’s broadcast, this probably wasn’t easy for Trump to ask the president of China to help resolve this matter and send the players home, but he did. The three players flew home on Tuesday after the rest of their team came home on Sunday. Trump was wondering if the UCLA players were going to thank him for intervening in this case, which was evident on a tweet he posted on Wednesday. The tweet is seen below.

Trump’s tweet started a debate on his Twitter page with comments condemning the players for not issuing a thank you. One Twitter user piped in and said, “Shouldn’t we wait until after their press conference before we judge the level of their gratitude????” This Twitter user was correct as the players did thank Trump, or “the United States government and President Trump.”

The UCLA players apologized to their school, team, family, friends, coaches, and teammates for letting them all down. They also thanked the Chinese police for treating them with respect while in their custody.

The players conveyed they wouldn’t do anything like this again. Some on Trump’s Twitter page thought the three men should have been left to face the music in China, but a charge of shoplifting in China could take 10 years of their lives away if they were found guilty.

Shoplifting sunglasses wouldn’t constitute that harsh of a sentence in the U.S. and while the charge differs from state to state, unless there is a habitual shoplifting career involved, the charges from state to state listed on Attorneys.com are not as harsh as what the teammates were facing in China.

According to Attorneys.com, “charges for shoplifting can range from a simple infraction or misdemeanor to a felony, depending on state criminal law and what you steal.” It is the dollar value of the item or items stolen that determine the sentence for a shoplifting crime.

The Fox News anchors commented on the demeanors of this trio of teammates during the press conference and they suggest their apologies seemed genuine. They also noted how Donald Trump got his “thank you” as he seemed to be looking for one earlier in the day in his tweet.

Steve Alford, the UCLA basketball coach, reported on Wednesday that the three players have been “suspended from the team indefinitely.” Alford said the trio will not travel with the team. He also said that in the future they might be allowed to practice with the team, but that is to be determined sometime in the future.

[Featured Image by Manan Vatsyayana/AP Images]