Stephen Colbert, who apparently doesn’t have much of an act without President Donald Trump stories, referenced the current dust-up between Trump and the father of one of the UCLA basketball players arrested in China.
After the president intervened on the behalf of three UCLA basketball players who had been caught shoplifting in the foreign country, LeVar Ball, the father of one of them, seemed to cast doubt on the role Trump played in getting his son released. He also downplayed his son’s crime.
“Who?” Ball said, during an interview on ESPN. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
During his late-night show on Monday, Colbert weighed in on the feud, warning, “Mr. Trump, I know you’re upset, but maybe now’s not the time to be implying that someone’s kid should go to jail for what their dad did.”
Colbert cited Trump’s tweets over the weekend when he lashed out at Ball for his dismissive reaction to the release of the three UCLA basketball players. They were facing up to ten years in a Chinese prison.
“I should have left them in jail,” the president tweeted after hearing how Ball spoke about the incident. The father also made it sound as though shoplifting was “no big deal,” and Trump took offense to that, too.
Colbert advised Ball, “Pretending not to know him is the meanest thing you can do to Donald Trump. Knowing who he is is his whole thing. That’s why he puts his name on all of his buildings and one of his kids.”
Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about releasing the basketball players, who were lucky that the president was visiting Beijing as part of a 12-day tour of Asia at the time.
The players were eventually released and arrived back in the United States last week. They held a press conference shortly afterwards, at which time they thanked the president for his role in helping them return home.
During his late-night show, Colbert mocked Trump for asking for praise, calling for people to imagine what Thanksgiving is like with Trump.
“Let’s go around the table and all say what we’re thankful to me for. I’ll start,” Colbert said, imitating Trump.