Trump Asked Xi's Help in Case of Detained US Basketball Players

Trump Asked Xi's Help in Case of Detained US Basketball Players

Trump Asked Xi's Help in Case of Detained US Basketball Players

President Donald Trump lobbied on behalf of LiAngelo Ball and his two UCLA basketball teammates who were arrested for shoplifting in China while they were there for a tournament last week.

Last week, the trio were arrested for stealing sunglasses from Louis Vuitton and then it was later revealed they stole from Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores as well.

UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were arrested in China and charged with shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store. Xi promised the players will receive fair treatment and their cases would be handled hastily, Nakamura reports, citing an anonymous US official. The president's chief of staff John Kelly has also been in contact with the players' families as well as the team's coach.

Trump called on China for the umpteenth time to strengthen sanctions on North Korea; Xi said nothing, and the Chinese press removed Trump's comments.

Chinese authorities told the Post that the charges have been downgraded and the case against them is on a fast track toward resolution.

The State Department typically handles cases of Americans arrested overseas.

The family is now filming a reality show called "Ball in the Family" and recently started an athletic apparel company, Big Baller Brand, "inspired by the Ball brothers". The president spent most of two days with Xi, including a tour of the Forbidden City, a state dinner and meetings. Neither made any mention of the UCLA players' arrests. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who oversees the State Department, also might have spoken about the case with Trump, the official said.

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