White House

Trump again lashes out at UCLA basketball player's father, calling him 'a poor man's version of Don King'

Trump again lashes out at UCLA basketball player's father

In an early Wednesday morning Twitter rant, President Donald Trump berated the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players arrested on charges of shoplifting while on a tour in China.

Trump angrily insisted that it was his influence alone that persuaded Chinese officials to release the three basketball players — LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley — and allow them to return to the United States.

"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," Trump tweeted.

He then called Ball's father LaVar "a poor man's version of Don King, but without the hair" and an "ungrateful fool."

It wasn't the first time the president has taken to Twitter to attack LaVar Ball, who has downplayed Trump's role in the release of his son.

"Who?" Ball said in an interview on Friday with ESPN, "What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out." Ball is himself a former basketball player and stars in the Facebook reality series "Ball in the Family."

Trump heatedly responded to the interview over the weekend, saying he "should have left" the basketball players 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!"

WATCH: UCLA players depart China after Trump asked for Xi's help

UCLA players depart China after Trump asked for Xi's help