Breaking News: Donald Trump lied about something.
The three were accused of shoplifting merchandise and Trump claimed he was the reason the three were released. According to ESPN, Chinese officials interrogated Ball, Riley, and Hill about the November 7, 2017 alleged thefts. Apparently the investigation took longer than expected due to the nature of what happened.
“Each shoplifting incident was treated as its own separate case and required the players to once again travel to the stores individually, return what they had stolen and be identified by the employees working at the time,” the ESPN report reads in part. “With the two stores across the street from Louis Vuitton being so close in proximity, that only required one round-trip drive for each player.”
A day after the alleged crime, the players were already bailed out of prison and on November 10, the shoplifting charges were lifted. The trio’s passports were withheld to keep them from leaving the Hangzhou province they were in, but they were allowed to maneuver around the city. The dates of the players’ return flights to the United States were subsequently changed to November 14.
It wasn’t until November 12 that the players were contacted by White House chief of staff John Kelly and despite Kelly’s claims that it was Trump’s intervention that freed the players, facts prove otherwise. A UCLA official told the sports network that the players’ charges were dropped, not reduced, and their flights back to America were already booked before the White House got involved. UCLA required the players to remain in their hotel rooms and were not under house arrest as Trump claimed.
What made the whole incident so insulting was Trump’s cheeky plea for a debt of gratitude from the three.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2017
“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump?” he wrote on Twitter. “They were headed for 10 years in jail!”
Donald Trump taking credit for something he didn’t do: shocking.
Read the full ESPN report here.
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images and Alius Koroliovas/Getty Images
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