President Trump fires back

November 20, 2017

President Trump is taking flak over yet another impolitic tweet, this time about the UCLA basketball players who could have faced 10 years in prison in China for shoplifting, but who are now safely home because Trump intervened. The father of one of the players, LaVar Ball, rudely dismissed Trump’s efforts to ESPN, replying, “Who?,” then going on to say, “They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes…I'm from L.A., I've seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses.” Trump tweeted back that Ball’s father was “unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!”

Naturally, the media are jumping all over Trump for saying he should’ve left them in jail. I happen to think that’s just a humorous expression of frustration, but it’s necessary for the media to take everything he tweets absolutely literally in order to put the worst possible spin on it. I agree that it wasn’t very diplomatic, but then, the father’s stunning lack of gratitude for what Trump did for his son and his clueless comment about the law wasn’t very diplomatic, either. What this really boils down to is that the media expect Trump to have the dignity to take every unfair attack that gets lobbed his way and never fire back. They haven’t figured out yet that he’s not the pre-2016 model Republican.


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What’s really worth talking about here, and what everyone is overlooking, is the statement of the father, in dismissing shoplifting as “a big deal out of nothing,” and comparing doing it in foreign countries to doing it in L.A. It shows both a shocking disregard for the law and a stunning ignorance of what makes America such a great nation. Frankly, I think it also represents a too-widespread failure of many modern parents to instruct their kids in both of these areas.

Stealing is never “nothing” to the person you stole from, and you wouldn’t like someone doing it to you. Children should be taught the Golden Rule from an early age (“Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”) And maybe young people wouldn’t be so enamored of socialist or communist countries if they’d been taught the difference between getting caught stealing in America and in someplace like China or North Korea: Americans have rights that too many people take for granted. If young Americans aren’t taught what an exceptional nation America is, they’ll assume they can get away with the same garbage they do here, no matter where they travel. News flash: they can’t.


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President Trump doesn’t always communicate in the most measured, diplomatic way (okay, he seldom if ever does that.) But this time, he has a point. Young people need to be taught to obey the law, and that goes 100 times over when they leave the US. When you pull some spoiled brat move in a foreign country, you’d better hope the President will go to bat for you, because your helicopter parents won’t be able to chopper in and save you from your own bad behavior this time.

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Comments 1-50 of 147

  • Denise A Wright

    12/03/2017 03:18 PM

    Governor Huckabee, sir - EXCELLENT Post!! So true! ..."What’s really worth talking about here, and what everyone is overlooking, is the statement of the father, in dismissing shoplifting as “a big deal out of nothing,” and comparing doing it in foreign countries to doing it in L.A. It shows both a shocking disregard for the law and a stunning ignorance of what makes America such a great nation. Frankly, I think it also represents a too-widespread failure of many modern parents to instruct their kids in both of these areas."

  • Donald Nacoli

    11/26/2017 09:43 PM

    Trump is 100 percent right on what he said. I believe they were ungrateful about Trump getting them out, this is about them being liberal. I heard enough about liberals to know they will put trump down, and it doesn't matter what Trump does. I pray the people will just look at this as ignorance on the part of the shoplifters and the Father.

  • Karen Johnson

    11/26/2017 05:34 PM

    I like that you don't have to guess what the President is thinking. Unlike the last one you never knew what he was thinking even when he was talking.

  • Fasteddy

    11/26/2017 05:13 PM

    And this kid learned this behavior form who???? If I was a shopkeeper in their California hometown, I would be keeping an eye on him and any of his family members entering my establishment. Of course the "entitled" father would claim racial profiling then.

  • Stephen Russell

    11/26/2017 04:49 PM

    Next time, may leave kids etc in said country & sample foreign justice alone.
    Wake up the whole family IF warranted.
    Put down Trump, lose your kids to host foreign country.

  • Judy Radley

    11/26/2017 04:47 PM

    How many other Presidents would do the same? I don't think any of them other than President Reagan when he got those Libyans to release the American hostages that President Jimmy Carter never did anything to help them, but actually was the cause for them to be kidnapped in the first place. I do respect President Trump for what he did, but remember, anything he does do, the Liberal anti-American racists against a white man for President will criticize him anyway, so I say, don't listen to the naysayers just "do the right thing, even when no one is looking" is a quote I read about what real Character is, I read it in an elementary school lobby. I'm proud to say it was in my alma mater school.

  • WANDA J BROWNING

    11/22/2017 04:34 PM

    NOW I KNOW WHY OUR CHILDREN HAVE LOST RESPECT FOR THEMSELVES, GOD, PARENTS AND COUNTRY. MR. LAVAR IS NOT A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE. HE MUST NOT SEEN IN THE NEWS HOW OTTO WAMBIER CAME HOME!! THANK YOU PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR YOUR KIND HEART!!! PRAY FOR OUR LAND!!!

  • Amy D Earls

    11/22/2017 08:37 AM

    I am behind President Trump no matter what. He speaks the truth and they just can not accept it!!!! He said, just what I would have said he should have left them thevies over there we got enough here already!!!!

  • Kathy Dixon

    11/22/2017 06:58 AM

    Another case of no responsibility - must be someone else's fault. Guess this is another "transformation of america" that obama started. Trump should of left them in jail or at least may their "stay" a bit longer. And the father upset over the fact that Trump did not bring him home on air force one is just another example of what people think they are "owed"

  • Judy Hickey

    11/22/2017 12:58 AM

    Personally, I agree with the President. I am, however, grateful we have a President who has the will to protect our citizens from countries such as China. This is a big deal and the parent(s) sadly does not understand the consequences of the boys' actions. I applaud the open truth in the tweets. Unfortunately, there are few who know what truth is anymore.

  • Sandra Lemley

    11/21/2017 07:49 PM

    Totally agree with you! The parents are doing their children a great injustice. They will never know how to function in our society!

  • LORI ANN REGO

    11/21/2017 05:23 PM

    GOV HUCKABEE I SO AGREE WITH YOU THAT MANY YOUNG AMERICANS DO TAKE THE USA FOR GRANTED. I ALSO FEEL MANY PARENTS DON'T TEACH THEIR CHILDREN RIGHT FROM WRONG OR THE CHILDREN GET AWAY WITH MURDER.

  • LORI ANN REGO

    11/21/2017 05:22 PM

    GOV HUCKABEE I SO AGREE WITH YOU THAT MANY YOUNG AMERICANS DO TAKE THE USA FOR GRANTED. I ALSO FEEL MANY PARENTS DON'T TEACH THEIR CHILDREN RIGHT FROM WRONG OR THE CHILDREN GET AWAY WITH MURDER.

  • Janice Short

    11/21/2017 05:19 PM

    Well, we all know that California is the land of fruits & nuts! President Trump SHOULD have left them in jail.

  • James D. Simpson

    11/21/2017 03:59 PM

    Gov its the same sad story in our country. "I bounce a ball, I catch a ball, I AM SOMEBODY and I WILL DO what I want attitude and you cant do anything to me mentality. Same as NFL. Sorry but our government (see Hillary Clinton destroying and exposing classified info is still free to say "I know nothing." (Sorry Sgt Schultz) when anyone else (especially military personnel would be in prison for life) Speaking of that where is the Attorney General?" We got a AGINO (Attorney General In Name Only) --- just sayin.

    The sad fact is our government, justice and education system are in large part responsible as are parents.

    Keep the facts coming Gov maybe at some time people will really wake up. Well maybe not?

    Thanks
    Jim
    God Bless andHave a great Thanksgiving -- we still have so much to be thankful for.

  • Jim Murphy

    11/21/2017 03:32 PM

    A better answer -
    President Trump: Perhaps I should have worked out a Father/Son swap!

  • Janet Day

    11/21/2017 03:21 PM

    How very sad that the basketball player's father was so dismissive of his son's crime, and so ungrateful of President's Trump's intervention to free him from jail. At minimum, community service is in order! I hope that this father is an anomaly and not the norm; however, based on what's happening around us, I fear that there are many entitled individuals, raised without proper morals, values, respect, personal responsibility and a healthy fear of GOD. I will continue to pray for our President, Vice President and administration. The attacks on them have been unbelievable. I rather like Pres. Trump speaking what's on his mind rather than candy coating every word; it's refreshing. Thank you for your updates, Mike Huckabee. I enjoy them tremendously.

  • James. Mullins. Sr

    11/21/2017 01:54 PM

    The point is that the Father has not taught the young man right from wrong. Have him talk to The Big Guy "SHAQ"
    About how his step father taught him right from wrong. It all starts with the Family. If Mom & Dad are not on the same page, the problem begins.

  • Elna Morton

    11/21/2017 01:09 PM

    Thank you for your level headed comments. Taking something that is not yours is stealing, from a pencil in the classroom to anything from a store. It is not yours, you did not pay for it, that is stealing. The more appealing part is the father's attitude.

  • Pat Taylor

    11/21/2017 01:02 PM

    You are right on, they have no idea how lucky they are. With the dad's attitude wouldn't be surprised if they don't try it again.

  • Judy Houser

    11/21/2017 12:40 PM

    It seems the father has influenced his son with his attitude of "take what you want when you want it" without regard for anyone else other than yourself. Yes. I think the sad point here is the father is condoning the son's behavior and apparently has taught his son that he is above everyone.

  • Paul Snyder

    11/21/2017 12:25 PM

    President Trump was very nice to free the disgusting basketball playing thieves . After the loud mouth disgruntled father of the stealing son complained on what our Great President did They should all 3 be kicked off the entire basketball program.

  • Lauris Barr

    11/21/2017 11:19 AM

    I totally agree. The media is focusing on Trump's reply to the father and not on the outrageous comment by the father.

  • NANCY TEEL

    11/21/2017 11:12 AM

    WILL SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME JUST WHY 3 YOUNG PUNKS SHOULD BE 'REWARDED' BY A FLIGHT HOME ON AIR FORCE 1? WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE IS THAT TO SET FOR THE NEXT CROP OF SHOPLIFTERS IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY? SHEEEEEESH!

  • Fred B. Andrew

    11/21/2017 10:21 AM

    This is what the NFL players is actually kneeling for. The liberal base is soft on crime and criminals. They want Law Enforcement to turn their backs on the actions they commit as if it was nothing. I applaud this young mans in thanking the president. Even though his age it appears he has not been completely grasped his fathers and schools attitude on this issue. being out of the lime light he is just trying to bring the glory to him for which he does not deserve. I just hope his actions does tarnish any future action by the POTUS if a situation like this should come up again. And by the way these players were black so no matter what the POTUS did or did not do pretty notable for a so called racist Thanks Mr. Trump

  • Cynthia Duke

    11/21/2017 10:10 AM

    I agree with our president. The young men were representing our country and did a horrible job at it. Unfortunately, it seems the father's terrible attitude about stealing has influenced his son in a negative way. They did break the law and China did not have to release them. I wonder how the father would have felt if his son had to serve several years in a Chinese prison?

  • Jan Burton

    11/21/2017 09:58 AM

    Right on with your commentary re the shoplifter's dad. The father's attitude explains why his son thought he could steal without consequences. I hope the university withdraws their athletic scholarships as well as suspending them from the team. They are NOT what we want to represent our country or our universities!

  • Barry Dyer

    11/21/2017 09:53 AM

    You're always spot on brother! I agree wholeheartedly!!

  • Lynda Case

    11/21/2017 09:47 AM

    you are sooo right on ! some of the young people in this country feel so deserving... the Golden rule ,they think that's something from McDonalds?

  • Etola Zinni

    11/21/2017 09:33 AM

    I was raised by a single mom (widowed when I was seven years old, and who never remarried). She was committed to parenting my sister and I throughout our childhood and had great wisdom I hope I have since inherited, myself. She taught us the Golden Rule and also that we "...either listen to (her) advice, or face the consequences". Many times, as a teenager, I "faced the consequences" (fortunately never with the law, in lieu of following her advice, but her words, in retrospect, were greatly respected (and appreciated) because she adhered to everything she said. If she were not so unbending and indeed, ultimately loving, the lesson would have been lost. Now that my mom has passed on, I am finding her inspiration and her voice within my own! I am deeply grateful. (And that too, has been due to her training - to be grateful when gratitude is so evident). My beloved mother also expressed early on that God was our Father, Mother, All in all and would not take "credit" for her parenting, saying instead that she was my "guide". (And, what a beautiful guide she was! I miss her!) I will never understand parents who make such poor examples in life, and especially to their children. Mike Huckabee, I am in complete agreement with you and President Trump concerning this topic. I appreciate so often, your concise, collected and well-spoken words, regularly! Thank you for being the voice of Reason. God bless America.

  • Stephana Holmes

    11/21/2017 09:11 AM

    Trump is Exactly Right. Trump is REAL, not a Fake puppet. That stupid jerk kid and his ignoramus dad have NO CLUE What Trump SAVED that kid from... and prob never will. It's Truly Sad. It Just Shows WHO IS The "Bigger Man", with Brains and Compassion.

  • Robert H Odell, Jr.

    11/21/2017 09:07 AM

    Mike,

    I know what you mean from recent personal experience. Somewhat broke into my medical office and stole your signed red guitar off my wall. I have not been able to find another one anywhere and cannot figure out how to contact your office. Can you have your office contact me as to how I can purchase another one. Bob Odell, MD, PhD, Neuropathy & Pain Centers of Las Vegas 702-521-9542

  • phyllis Bator

    11/21/2017 08:46 AM

    What a sad state of affairs when a father does not recognize what President Trump has done for his son. Ungrateful is putting it mildly. Trump is right. With such ungratefulness, he should have left that one behind! How does the son feel about his father's comment I wonder???

  • Nancy Newcomb

    11/21/2017 08:42 AM

    Amen!

  • Dee Anderson

    11/21/2017 08:40 AM

    The left and other anti-Trump people just can't stand it when President Trump is sucessful . Yes, I consider what he did for those basketball players a success !

  • William Brumma

    11/21/2017 08:26 AM

    The three could have been returned in the condition of the man in Cincinnati area. Is there no gratitude in this country. Athletes are so pampered they think they can do no wrong. I wonder how many other times his father let his son get a pass. "THOU SHALL NOT STEAL" DIRECT FROM GOD

  • Martha Sullivan

    11/21/2017 08:18 AM


    as about this f
    ather. If this Son of his had perhaps politely asked if he may take?whatever they most likely would have obliged'
    those Athletes are such spoiled people for one.They also could have tried to purchase those items.they sure make enough monies. Pres Trump Ithank you for coming to there help. And the father you better be grateful..M.S.
    thlets

  • Carol Fraser

    11/21/2017 07:46 AM

    “The Ugly American” should be required reading in all American schools. The sense of entitlement is worse than ever. I found it interesting that the CNN reporter who interviewed the Dad gave off body language that showed he was dismayed with the Dad’s viewpoint. Wonder what the other two Dads think? What about the Moms? They should all be thanking Donald Trump. LA is not the same as China.

  • Helen Corey

    11/21/2017 07:42 AM

    According to shariah law if someone is caught stealing, which shoplifting is, authorities can cut off stealer’s hand. It would be hard to play basketball with one hand. Lucky those boys weren’t caught in country ruled by sharia law.

  • Helen Corey

    11/21/2017 07:40 AM

    According to shariah law if someone is caught stealing, which shoplifting is, authorities can cut off stealer’s hand. It would be hard to play basketball with one hand. Lucky those boys weren’t caught in country ruled by sharia law.

  • Thomas Buttram

    11/21/2017 07:26 AM

    I have kept going back and reading about this thing and I still can't see where this is a "racial" incident. He was just as black when he got released from jail as he was when he got caught for stealing, right?

  • Bruced Deming

    11/21/2017 07:17 AM

    Trump should send him back to China with his father, and let his father watch him face prosecution. Then send his father home after they imprison his son for a decade.

    On another note, is Judge Jeanine looking for a spot in Nascar? LOL

  • Michael. G. Polkabla

    11/21/2017 07:16 AM

    That father should realize that his son would be looked up for 10 years not a couple of days.

  • DAWN CLARK

    11/21/2017 06:54 AM

    Thank you for getting the information out as to what the father said. I have not seen that anywhere else and I wondered what he said. I love your daughter. She is great. Must be cause she has such a great dad. Love your show on Saturday nights we get to watch it on TCT.

  • David King

    11/21/2017 06:10 AM

    I’ve always thought that corporal punishment would be fitting for juvenile offenders since parents are too busy with their own social life to do it themselves.

  • Michael Walters

    11/21/2017 05:22 AM

    I'm in complete agreement with you Gov. When I was in 1st grade, I stole a mechanical pencil from the 5 and dime. When my Mother saw that I had it, she immediately asked where I got it, which I immediately responded, Palmer's 5 and dime. Knowing I didn't have the money to buy the pencil, she snatched me up and took me to see Mr. Palmer. Sitting in his office, he explained that stealing was breaking the law and that he should call the Police. Needless to say, I was freaking out, in tears, and apologized for taking the pencil, and promising never to do it again. He then accepted my apology and told me he would let it go, this time. That was the only time I have ever shoplifted anything, and I never forgot that lesson, to this day. I get the definite impression that Mr. Ball's son hasn't learned a thing from this incident, and is destined to do it again, maybe a car or something much more valuable. He should have thanked the President for his assistance, not slapping him in the face and showing his ignorance. Ungrateful man with little or no moral character!

  • Carlos Ramos

    11/21/2017 02:24 AM

    I have visited China. They do not mess around when it comes to wrong doing. I would love to share an experience involving an incident I witnessed at Shenyang Airport involving attempted sale of stolen cell phones to foreign tourists. But Who? "make big deal out of nothing". I think President Trump should have substituted ungrateful, theft approving arrogant fathers ignorant enough to call theft "nothing" fathers in the place of their sons. He would learn that LA is not the center of the world and in fact, is the septic tank of the planet. This ungrateful spiteful moron is one of the reasons Los Angeles is loathed by travelers from more civil states and nations. California is the laughing stock of the world unfortunately and the model of how to do things wrong. Ball represents the base, onerous Los Angeles attitude. Chinese prison would do this man some good.

  • Michelle Solomons

    11/21/2017 02:03 AM

    Forgetting the incident and the ingratitude of the father, the media and other never-Trumpers cannot wait to jump on President Trump to call him racist. The irony is that Obama would not have given a fig if the students were left to rot in a Chinese jail, unless, if course, it presented a photo-op for himself. I can just picture the scene with him standing in the rose garden surrounded by the freed students and their families, and the adoring media hanging on his every word!!!

  • Miriam Spears

    11/21/2017 01:45 AM

    Thanks for your new refreshing positive show. It's just what the worn out viewers needed. Your show definitely delivers a shot of good energy into social media. As for Trump releasing these 3 players, he did so gladly. The father's remark was very ungrateful. Of course. The media always portrays Trump in in a dark light. Too bad because they are missing out on reporting the greatest news of this Presidency which will be historical.

  • Ethel L. Cenkner

    11/21/2017 01:24 AM

    It's obvious the son didn't learn anything, and the father didn't when he was raised.
    the father should be punished for the sad way he brought up his son. If China sent the
    boy to jail for 5 years--maybe in five years he would realize you don't take things that
    belong to others----besides, what if someone stole something from his son, would he
    beat the cr--out of him? They both need a lesson in respect.