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While in Beijing, President Trump asked China’s leader Xi Jinping to look into the detention in eastern China of three UCLA basketball players on suspicion of shoplifting, a top White House spokesman said Monday.
Trump, who left Beijing on Friday for Vietnam and now the Philippines, requested that Xi ensure that the case is resolved quickly and that the three freshman players are treated fairly, U.S. Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a telephone interview.
The UCLA men’s basketball team flew back to the U.S. over the weekend without forwards Jalen Hill and Cody Riley and guard LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball. The three players have not been allowed to leave China after being accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near the team’s hotel in Huangzhou last week.
The fact that Trump raised the issue with Xi was first reported by the Washington Post.