Before Donald Trump went on a Twitter rampage against LaVar Ball for not being grateful enough over his son’s release from China, he probably saw his favorite show, Fox & Friends, do it first.
Earlier this week, Trump secured the release of LiAngelo Ball and two of his teammates on the U.C.L.A. basketball team after they were detained in China for allegedly shoplifting. Ever petty and narcissistic, Trump demanded a thank you 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
The three teammates complied, apparently appeasing Trump:
To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You're welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017
....your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017
But then LiAngelo’s father, LaVar Ball, cast doubt on Trump’s role and the seriousness of the shoplifting allegations.
Sunday morning, Fox & Friends cohost Pete Hegseth attacked LaVar Ball for staying “nice and quiet” while his son was detained. “in other parts of the world, the consequences for something like this could be very, very dire,” Hegseth said. “But after he gets home, now it’s time to talk.”
Hegseth and cohost Rachel Campos-Duffy agreed that they “loved” Trump’s demand that the players thank him. Then Campos-Duffy lectured Ball about being a bad parent who enabled his son's bad behavior - unlike good Dad Trump!
CAMPOS-DUFFY: This is an example of really bad parenting. First of all, we’re coming up on Thanksgiving, right? How about being thankful that your son is back? And, by the way, just in case the dad’s not doing the dad thing, I think the tweet that Trump gave to the kids saying, “Hey, how about being grateful and saying thank you?” I think it was sort of like Trump being a dad in that moment to them. And I can see from the way this dad’s acting. I’m sorry, that’s not good parenting. All kids make mistakes, but we don’t enable them like that.
A few hours later, Trump lashed out at Ball, too, saying, “I should have left them in jail!”
Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
Watch it below, from the November 19, 2017 Fox & Friends, via Media Matters.