Politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

Essential Washington

Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington.

White House says Trump spoke rhetorically on Twitter; does not regret helping UCLA players come home

UCLA freshmen, from left, Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball and Jalen Hill admitted to shoplifting while in China in a press conference at Pauley Pavilion. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
UCLA freshmen, from left, Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball and Jalen Hill admitted to shoplifting while in China in a press conference at Pauley Pavilion. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

President Trump does not regret his role in helping to free three UCLA basketball players from detention in China last week, his spokeswoman said on Monday, though his weekend complaint on Twitter suggested otherwise.

"It was a rhetorical response to a criticism by the father," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said at a press briefing in response to questions about Trump’s tweet on Sunday that he “should have left them in jail!”

Trump posted that message on Twitter after LaVar Ball, the father of one of the players detained on suspicion of shoplifting, LiAngelo Ball, publicly downplayed Trump’s role in securing their release. The three players had expressed thanks to Trump, among others; even before that, however, Trump had tweeted his expectation that they show their gratitude to him. 

Sanders said, “The president was happy to see the release of these individuals and have them back in the United States."

 

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
59°