″[James] is a great family man, incredible ballplayer, gives back to his community, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind,” the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee tweeted. “We need more like him in this world.”
Trump in his tweet attacked the intelligence of both James and CNN’s Don Lemon ― two outspoken critics of the president. His tweet was in response to a Lemon interview with James, who recently opened a school for low-income and at-risk students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. In the interview, which first aired Monday and was repeated on Friday, James criticized Trump for fueling racial divides in the U.S.
″[James] was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television,” Trump tweeted. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”
Trump faced immediate backlash over his tweet from athletes, fans and lawmakers, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and basketball icon Michael Jordan, who the president apparently referred to at the end of his tweet.
Even first lady Melania Trump pushed back against her husband’s assessment of James.
“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation,” a spokeswoman for Melania Trump said Saturday. “Just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today.”
James was an outspoken supporter for Clinton during her White House bid and campaigned for her when she visited Ohio. He hasn’t publicly responded to Trump’s attack, but he did tweet support for students of his new school on Saturday.