Melania Trump offers LeBron James support amid row with Donald after NBA star called him a 'bum'

First lady wades into war of words between president and athlete

Emily Shugerman
New York
Sunday 05 August 2018 14:55 BST
Lebron James says he would considering running against Donald Trump for president

First lady Melania Trump has appeared to support basketball star LeBron James, a day after her husband publicly insulted his intelligence.

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation,” Ms Trump’s spokeswoman said in a statement, adding that the first lady would be open to visiting the school James recently opened in Ohio.

The small forward, who recently left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, recently suggested that the US president had “used sports to kinda divide us”.

Asked by CNN host Don Lemon: “If someone tried to recruit a LeBron to run for president, they said, ‘Listen, they’ve got no one, if you don’t run, Trump’s going to win,’ would you run?” James replied that he might.

Responding via Twitter, Mr Trump called Lemon the “dumbest man on television”, adding that he “made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do”.

“I like Mike!” the president added, in what appeared to be a reference to James’s fellow NBA player Michael Jordan.

Jordan later voiced his support for James, saying he was “doing an amazing job for his community”.

Mr Lemon responded with his own tweet, criticising Mr Trump’s immigration policy and adding the hashtag “Be Best” – a reference to Ms Trump’s children’s health initiative.

Ms Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in her statement that the first lady “encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today”.

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