Trump to UCLA Players: You Can Thank Me Now

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Posted: Nov 15, 2017 11:20 AM
Trump to UCLA Players: You Can Thank Me Now

Update: During their press conference Wednesday, Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball, and Jalen Hill all made statements thanking President Trump for his efforts to get them released and apologized for their actions in China.

"To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf," Cody Riley said.

“I would also like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they provided," LiAngelo Ball stated. "I’m grateful to be back home.”

Jalen Hill said “thank you to the United States government and President Trump for your efforts to bring us home.”

***Original Post***

President Trump tweeted Wednesday wondering if the three UCLA Basketball Players, LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill, who were freed from their detainment in China and potential jail time on suspicion of shoplifting, would say thank you. Trump added that the players had been “headed for 10 years in jail.”

The players were arrested the day before Trump arrived in China for his visit to Asia. Trump told reporters on Air Force One Tuesday that he brought up the players' fate in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, adding that they were working on allowing the players to return home.

"What they did was unfortunate,” Trump said of the players. “You know, you're talking about very long prison sentences. They do not play games."

"Hopefully everything is going to work out,” Trump added, calling it "a very rough situation." He said President Xi Jinping had been " terrific on that subject."

The players landed at Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday afternoon but ignored reporters' shouted questions as they made their way out of the terminal.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement that the school is weighing its options in terms of disciplinary action.

"I want to be clear that we take seriously any violations of the law," he said. "In this particular case, both Athletics and the Office of Student Conduct will review this incident and guide any action with respect to the involved students. Such proceedings are confidential, which limits the specific information that can be shared."

The players will speak on the matter at a press conference Wednesday but will not be taking questions.