“If you help, you shouldn’t have to say anything,” Ball said of Trump’s involvement in orchestrating the release of his son, UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball. LiAngelo was one of three UCLA basketball players arrested and jailed earlier this month for shoplifting in China.
“Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let’s just stay in our lane,” the elder Ball added.
The outspoken father continued to be skeptical that Trump was responsible for the release of the three basketball players, all of whom returned to Los Angeles safely last week. The players have been suspended indefinitely from the team.
“Did he help the boys get out? I don’t know,” Ball said. “If I was going to thank somebody, I’d probably thank President Xi. He’s the president in China. Somebody can make a suggestion and somebody can do something.”
Trump called Ball “very ungrateful” in a tweet on Sunday and said the father was not taking the allegations seriously enough after he downplayed the president’s involvement in his son’s release.
“I should have left them in jail!” Trump tweeted.
The White House later walked back Trump’s comment, saying he did not mean the comment and was responding to the elder Ball’s skepticism in the president’s direct involvement.
Watch the full interview in the video above.