Donald Trump asks Chinese president to help in UCLA case

Cheryl Sanders
November 13, 2017

According to The Washington Post, President Donald Trump has "personally asked his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to help resolve the case". Hangzhou, China, police arrested the three Bruins last week on shoplifting charges, and they didn't fly home with the rest of the team. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has been in touch with the families of the players and has spoken with UCLA coach Steve Alford, and Kelly remains in contact with Chinese authorities, the official added.

Once Mr. Trump addressed the issue with Xi, he promised to look into the case and ensure the fair treatment of the players, an anonymous US official told The Washington Post.

Share this article: LiAngelo Ball is one of three UCLA basketball team players being held under house arrest during a suspected shoplifting investigation in China. News also broke that Chinese authorities reported having surveillance video of the trio stealing from several other stores that same day.

This official also indicated to that charges against the three basketball players have been reduced and that the case is moving toward a resolution.

The White House confirmed in an email to the Washington Post, which first reported Trump's involvement, that the president brought up the issue with Xi.

The State Department typically handles cases of Americans arrested overseas.

LaVar Ball later released a statement about the allegations against LiAngelo: "It is a very unfortunate situation that the Ball family and UCLA has to deal with at this particular time". Theft of this nature is taken much more harshly in China than it is in the United States, and these players are finding that out the hard way.

Trump learned about the details of the cases from aides, including Kelly, said the official familiar with the internal discussions.

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