Players come to LeBron's defense after President Donald Trump rips James' smarts

Heather Diaz
August 7, 2018

Only hours after Donald Trump attacked James on Twitter, deriding his intelligence, the First Lady released a statement through her spokesperson, heaping praise on LeBron and his current activism.

The statement followed a Twitter rant on Friday from her husband in response to an interview James had given to CNN.

Trump was referring to an interview CNN's Lemon did in the days after James, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his foundation had opened a public school for some of the most disadvantaged children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

"Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon", he said.

CNN's communications team referenced recent reports that Trump grew enraged when first lady Melania Trump watched CNN aboard Air Force One. "He made LeBron look smart, which isn't easy to do", tweeted Trump.

James said: "I think racism's always been there". "He's doing an incredible job for his community". "Who's the real dummy?"

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While many former and current professional athletes jumped to James' defence, Mrs. Trump's spokeswoman noted that the first lady's Be Best initiative for children promoted "the importance of responsible online behaviour" as well as their well-being and healthy living. "I don't know why we all, you know, clutch our pearls and dance in gratitude every time she says something about this president or the things he says".

Many of James' fellow supporters from the National Basketball Association leapt to his defense after the president took aim at him.

This weekend's controversy was just the latest in a long-running feud between James and Mr Trump.

It's clear people have LeBron James' back - even Melania Trump defied her husband to express her support for the would-be subject of his bully tweets.

In the interview, James criticized Trump for using sports to "divide" America, such as when he misrepresents athletes' kneeling during the National Anthem as a protest against America.

Last year, Trump also withdrew an invitation to the National Basketball Association champions Warriors after Curry and several teammates indicated misgivings about attending a White House event. In that tweet, LeBron added that "Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!"

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