'IT WAS ME': Trump Ramps Up Feud With UCLA Father
Calls LaVar Ball 'ungrateful fool,' takes credit for getting his son freed by China
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2017 6:09 AM CST
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President Trump speaks to reporters at the White House on Nov. 21, 2017.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – The father of one of the UCLA basketball players freed by China after shoplifting maintains that he's not in a feud with President Trump over the incident, but the president may feel differently. Trump fired off two tweets Wednesday morning critical of LaVar Ball, at times referring to Ball as an "ungrateful fool" and a "poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair." But Trump's first point was to make clear that it was he, the president, who intervened to save the three players. "It wasn’t the White House, it wasn't the State Department, it wasn't father LaVar's so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence - IT WAS ME," he wrote.

Trump suggested that without his intervention, UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley would have spent five to 10 years in prison in China for shoplifting sunglasses while on a team trip. The elder Ball has downplayed Trump's role, but on Monday denied reports of a feud. “Why would I be at war with the most powerful man in the world?" he asked, per ABC News. "What do you mean take on Donald Trump? Take him on for what?" Despite the sniping, the men have something in common: reality show experience. Ball In the Family, chronicling the Ball family, streams on Facebook. (Here's what else Trump has had to say on the matter.)

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