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Trump Responds to Thanks from UCLA Basketball Players Released by China

UCLA basketball player Cody Riley, left, reads his statement as he is joined by teammates LiAngelo Ball, center, and Jalen Hill during a news conference at UCLA Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, in Los Angeles.

U.S. President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the gratitude expressed by three American college basketball players who were released from custody on shoplifting charges in China after Trump said he intervened.

The players for the University of California Los Angeles, LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, thanked Trump during a news conference Wednesday in Los Angeles.

In a couple of tweets, Trump said the players should also thank China's president and took the opportunity to offer a word of caution.

"To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You're welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made ... your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!"

Trump told reporters on his way home from his five-national tour in Asia that he broached the players situation with Xi and the Chinese leader was helping to settle the issue.

The players were detained last week on accusations of shoplifting at a Louis Vuitton store near their hotel in the Hangzhou. They were not allowed to participate in a game against Georgia Tech and were forced to remain in China for several days after their team returned to California. The players have been suspended indefinitely from the team.

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