Start a feud with Trump and late-night hosts will join in on the fun.
After Trump indicated that he played a key role in the release of three UCLA basketball players arrested in China on shoplifting charges, one player’s father, LaVar Ball, questioned the president’s role in his son’s freedom.
When asked about Trump’s involvement in his son’s release, Ball responded, “Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.” Trump fired back in a series of tweets Sunday, writing that LaVar Ball is “unaccepting” for what he did for his son and that “shoplifting is no big deal.” Trump also wrote, “I should have left them in jail.”
“And there he is, America’s favorite president ladies and gentlemen,” Late Late Show host James Corden joked during his opening monologue Monday night. Further adding, “Paul Manafort and the rest of Trump’s campaign staff were like, ‘Haha! OK, let’s not talk about leaving people in jail.’”
Earlier on CBS’ Late Show, Stephen Colbert warned Ball of the consequences of his statements.
“Pretending not to know him is the meanest thing you can do to Donald Trump,” Colbert joked. “Knowing who he is is his whole thing. That’s why he puts his names on all of his buildings and one of his kids.”
After proceeding to explain that the president would be “far above responding to a publicity hungry troll,” Colbert paused as he began simpering in silence. “I’m just kidding. President ‘what’s his name’ took the bait, tweeting,” Colbert continued as he began to read Trump’s tweet directed to Ball.
“Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump, I know you’re upset, but maybe now’s not the time to be implying that someone’s kids should go to jail for what their dad did,” the late-night host said, taking a jab at Donald Trump Jr.
Meanwhile over on NBC’s Late Night, Seth Meyers addressed Trump’s recent tweet in his “A Closer Look” segment.
“He’s starting to sound like a mean girl in eighth grade,” Meyers began, before imitating a young girl’s voice. “Do you think Becky will thank me for letting her sit with us at lunch? She was headed for 10 days at the losers table.”
Meyers then began explaining what Trump’s presidential role entails. “Helping keep Americans out of communist prisons is part of your job,” Meyers said. “That’s not above and beyond. That’s eye level and right next to you.”
After seeing Trump’s reaction, Ball argued that the president should have more important matters to attend to than worry about his gratitude.
Ball said: “That’s on your mind, that a father didn’t say ‘Thank you’? And you’re the head of the U.S.? Come on. There’s a lot of other things that’s going on. Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let’s just stay in our lane.”
“This is the feud we’ve been waiting for,” Meyers joked of Ball’s unwillingness to thank the president. Adding, “This isn’t Marco Rubio trying to win at Donald Trump’s game. Donald Trump’s game is LaVar Ball’s game. And LaVar Ball knows there’s no better way to troll Trump than by pretending to not know who he is.”
Meyers added of Trump’s tweets, “Every time I think Trump has hit rock bottom, he just bursts through the rock and keeps falling. He probably got to China by falling through the center of the Earth and popping out the other side.”
The late-night host also argued that the tweet is telling of the dictatorship Trump yearns to have. “Not only are these tweets childish and embarrassing, they’re also part of a disturbing pattern,” Meyers explained. “Trump is clearly a thug and a wannabe dictator who lashes out at anyone who isn’t sufficiently obedient.”
Ball’s son, LiAngelo, and his UCLA freshmen teammates, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, have been suspended indefinitely following the arrest. The players are also prohibited from suiting up, sitting on the bench for home games and traveling with the team.