MSNBC Host: Trump’s Feud With LaVar Ball Is Like ‘Professional Wrestling’

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MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist on Wednesday said President Donald Trump's public feud with LaVar Ball is like "professional wrestling" and both men "know exactly what they're doing."

Trump continued his online feud on Wednesday morning with Ball, whose son, LiAngelo, and two other freshmen UCLA basketball players were arrested and put into a Chinese prison earlier this month for stealing designer sunglasses in Hangzhou. During Trump's 11-day Asia trip, he asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to intervene, which resulted in the three basketball players being sent home last week without charges.

All three of the players thanked Trump and the U.S government for their help during a press conference last week, but the elder Ball downplayed Trump's role in freeing the players. Trump took the bait and lashed out on Twitter, saying Ball was "very ungrateful." Ball then did a bizarre interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Monday night where he referenced his own efforts to bring the players home, downplayed the seriousness of the crime, continued to question the president's role, and refrained from thanking Trump for helping his son and two teammates.

The president disagreed with Ball's assessment.

"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 on Wednesday morning.

"Just think, 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!" Trump added.

Co-host Joe Scarborough joked that Trump has to have stock in Ball's shoe company, Big Baller Brand, and that he will take credit when the shoe sales explode. He then compared the situation to Trump's feud with the media. Scarborough referenced the increasing ratings of various media outlets like MSNBC, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, suggesting Trump must know the outlets are doing well despite labeling them "fake news."

Geist responded to Wednesday's tweets by saying the situation reminded him of "professional wrestling."

"This is a fake fight between two guys who know exactly what they're doing. They throw out the bait, the other one takes it. LeVar Ball goes on national TV in a long interview, pounds his chest at the end, he said ‘Big Baller Brand is going to have a great Thanksgiving. I hope the president does too,'" Geist said referencing Ball's own comments from the CNN interview. "This is about selling sneakers. This is about selling his three sons and marketing them."

Cameron Cawthorne

Cameron Cawthorne   Email Cameron | Full Bio | RSS
Cameron Cawthorne is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013. Prior to joining Free Beacon, Cameron was a Legislative Assistant in the Virginia General Assembly and a War Room Analyst at America Rising.

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