US President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday (22 November) morning to slam LaVar Ball, the father of a UCLA basketball player who was detained in China earlier this month, calling him an "ungrateful fool." Ball's son LiAngelo and two other players were arrested in China for shoplifting. They were later released and returned home to the US.
Trump took credit for their release tweet saying he spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping on behalf of the players while he was in the country.
"It wasn't the White House, it wasn't the State Department, it wasn't father LaVar's so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence — IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man's version of Don King, but without the hair," Trump wrote in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
"LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It's a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!"
The furious tweets come as the latest swipe in the escalating war of words between Trump and Ball. His latest remarks seemed to be in response to the eccentric father's interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Monday night.
"If you help, you shouldn't have to say anything," Ball said in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuom. "Somebody told me about the tweet a couple days ago... Why is that on your mind? All this stuff going on, and that's on your mind, that a father didn't say thank you? And you're the head of the U.S.? Come on."
"Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let's just stay in our lane," Ball added.
Trump previously slammed Ball for downplaying his role in bringing the players home saying he should have left all three players in jail in China because "ungrateful" LaVar Ball did not publicly thank him for his intervention.
Twitter, on the other hand, viciously slammed the president with many describing the feud between the two as "ridiculous" and "childish" and urging them to grow up and move on.
"Do you really think saying 'IT WAS ME' reflects the dignity of your office and the true values of anonymous charity?" Jamie Metzl, a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council who served as a director on the US National Security Council, tweeted.
"LaVar Ball is a matchup nightmare for Donald Trump," one person wrote.
While some called for the duo to duel it out in a WWE style steel cage match, others said the ongoing feud seemed to be the perfect end to a tumultuous year.
"Somehow the Trump vs. LaVar Ball beef is the perfect conclusion to 2017," one person chimed.