A Day Before Thanksgiving, Trump Slams Father of UCLA Basketball Player as “Ungrateful”

The president can’t seem to quit his feud with LaVar Ball.

Mai/ZUMA

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One day before families across the country gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump is blasting one man as an “ungrateful fool” because of his refusal to lavish words of appreciation on the president.

Trump on Wednesday intensified his ongoing attacks against LaVar Ball, the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China last month, labeling him a “poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.” 

The newest attack comes after Ball on Friday openly questioned the extent to which Trump played a role in his son’s release, after LiAngelo Ball and two of his UCLA teammates were caught shoplifting. The president has repeatedly claimed that he was crucial in securing Ball’s freedom.

“Who?” Ball responded when ESPN asked about Trump Friday. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

Trump seized on the remarks, suggesting a day later that he should have left the players in jail.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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