Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump asked for Xi's help in UCLA players' shoplifting case in China

Trump asked for Xi's help in UCLA players' shoplifting case in China

President Donald Trump has personally asked for Chinese general secretary Xi Jinping to look into the arrests involving UCLA players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, The Washington Post reported. They will remain at the hotel until the legal process is completed.

Arriving the day after the players were arrested, Trump reportedly raised the players' predicament during his visit to Beijing.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has been in touch with the families, the UCLA coaching staff and Chinese authorities, a source told the newspaper.

"President Xi has been terrific on that subject", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One, bound for Honolulu following the conclusion of his 12-day trip to Asia.

A source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told ESPN that the three players could be in Hangzhou for "a week or two".

Xi has promised to look into the case and ensure, as Trump has asked, that the players be treated fairly and expeditiously, a USA official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, told The Post. ESPN reported last Friday that police have surveillance footage of the trio committing the crimes in three stores in the high-end shopping center.

Ball's father and younger brother also remained in China to film their Facebook reality show "Ball in the Family", though they were not staying with LiAngelo.

The were questioned last week about allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins had been staying before leaving for Shanghai to face Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Back in Los Angeles, the rest of the Bruins prepared for the team's home opener Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion against Central Arkansas.

The Ball patriarch has since been unnaturally silent during the whole ordeal, but did comment on Twitter that "It ain't that big a deal".

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