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Trump Wants LiAngelo Ball, UCLA Players to Thank Him for Release

He claimed they were looking at 10 years in prison.

by Liam Daniel Pierce
Nov 15 2017, 4:04pm

Photo by Gary A. Vasquez—USA TODAY Sports

Donald Trump came back from Asia yesterday after achieving virtually nothing—aside from calling Kim Jong-un short and fat, spurning his own death sentence, and watching as the world moved on after he cut us out of one of the most lucrative trade deals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The one microscopic act of diplomacy you could say he achieved, however, pertained to three UCLA basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, who were arrested for shoplifting in Beijing. Did you expect he would drop the opportunity to do something for a celebrity while in the neighborhood?

The arrests coincided with Trump's visit to the Chinese capital, so speculation was that the president might try to call in a favor for the American ballers. And it seems like something happened to clear the way for their release, because they were eventually sent back home on Monday, not even a week after they were arrested. But if you thought that this would be the last you'd hear from Trump on the matter, you clearly forgot who you were talking about:

It's unclear what Trump actually expects to happen now, outside of perhaps a sing-songy "thaaaaank's Pre-si-dent Trump." (Also note Don's use of the third person in his tweet.) But maybe we can feel safe now that Trump's new Kim Jong-un-like target is a nuke-less LaVar Ball? Either way, I can't imagine the two of them are going to shut up about it any time soon. This is our current, barking-mad reality.