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Trump Insulted LeBron James' Intelligence, Saying It's "Not Easy" To Make Him "Look Smart"

Trump's tweet came after CNN reaired an interview with James, where he said Trump "kinda used sports to kinda divide us."

Last updated on August 4, 2018, at 2:24 p.m. ET

Posted on August 4, 2018, at 8:49 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump on Friday night insulted the intelligence of LeBron James, the NBA's top player, and Don Lemon, a CNN host who interviewed him recently.

Rick Loomis / Getty Images

Trump said that Lemon, "the dumbest man on television," has "made Lebron [sic] look smart, which isn't easy to do."

Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

James' CNN interview from earlier this week ran again on Friday night, where he said Trump "kinda used sports to kinda divide us, and that's something that I can't relate to." He added, "I can't sit back and say nothing."

President Trump is using "sports to kind of divide us is something I can’t sit back and not say nothing." - LeBron James https://t.co/1nKWYVKwAf https://t.co/RRYnde5ejR

"Sports was the first time I was ever around someone white," James said. "I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them, and they got the opportunity to learn about me."

"I was like, oh, wow, this is all because of sports."

James has previously called Trump a "bum."

James, a four-time MVP, said he would potentially consider running for office — if it meant stopping Trump from winning.

When CNN asked LeBron James if he would ever run for office, at first he said, “I don’t think so.” But when pressed, he said there’s a hypothetical scenario in which he might — if it meant preventing Donald Trump from winning. "Let's see first," he added. https://t.co/8WWBaGsa7T https://t.co/9LRARZ3l43

When asked what he would say to Trump if he was sitting across from him, James said he "would never sit across from him," but would "sit across from Barack, though."

the CNN interview that got Trump so mad... Lemon: What would you say to the president if he was sitting right here? James: I would never sit across from him. Lemon: You would never, you don't want to talk to him? James: No. I'd sit across from Barack, though. https://t.co/0iiIuLDSai

Representatives for James and Lemon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

After the president's late-night Twitter attack, Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry tweeted in support of James.

Keep doing you @KingJames! 💪🏽 https://t.co/LOFVdQgyYr

As did Timberwolves player Karl-Anthony Towns.

So let me get this straight: Flint, MI has dirty water still, but you worried about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown? Shut your damn mouth! Stop using them twitter fingers and get stuff done for our country with that pen. https://t.co/sEkX3OKaJM

And the Wizards' Bradley Beal.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a frequent Republican critic of the president, also stood up for James.

Rather than criticizing @KingJames, we should be celebrating him for his charity work and efforts to help kids. By the way, all-around he’s better than Michael Jordan. That’s a fact.

And CNN responded in a tweet, asking if Melania Trump had the remote last night. It was recently reported that Trump demanded she turn off CNN while on Air Force One.

@realDonaldTrump Sounds like @FLOTUS had the remote last night. 📺 We hope you both saw the incredible work of @KingJames. #BeBest https://t.co/3Ok0z9Z6Ro

Lemon responded Saturday morning, tweeting, "Who's the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages?"

Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages? #BeBest https://t.co/XO50qVksnR

He also hashtagged #BeBest, referring to the first lady's interestingly named anti-cyberbullying initiative.

Tons of people are coming to James' defense, many pointing out that he just opened a public school for at-risk children this week.

Lebron James gave millions to educate children. Donald Trump gave millions back to adults he conned at his university. It's really not hard to see who is the smarter of the two.

Lebron James launched a school for severely at risk children Trump separated severely at risk children from their parents. https://t.co/rT34AtaM6U

•Lebron James donated $40M of his own money to fund education •Your administration took tens of millions to defund education It’s clear to all people with integrity who’s the smart one https://t.co/VxgQiye3B4

James' interview came as he announced he'd given millions of dollars to Akron, Ohio, schools to create an elementary school, called the I Promise School, for at-risk children.

Jason Miller / Getty Images

His action won tons of praise, including from former first lady Michelle Obama.

.@BarackObama and I are so proud of @KingJames and @IPROMISESchool. Kids in Akron and across the US are lucky to have you as a role model on and off the court. Keep using your platform for good and giving our kids a chance to shoot for the stars. 🌟🏀 #ReachHigher #BetterMakeRoom https://t.co/hyS6UM2A7b

This is not the first time Trump has publicly insulted the intelligence of a prominent black person. He often calls California Rep. Maxine Waters, a frequent critic of the president, "low IQ."

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!

Trump is set to travel to Ohio on Saturday night for a rally to support congressional candidate Troy Balderson, who didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on whether he agrees with the president's assessment of James.

Will be going to Ohio tonight to campaign for Troy Balderson for the big Congressional Special Election on Tuesday. Early voting is on. Troy is strong on Crime, the Border & loves our Military, Vets & 2nd Amendment. His opponent is a puppet of Nancy Pelosi/high taxes.

But, in an unusual step, First Lady Melania Trump distanced herself from her husband's attack on James, releasing a statement through her spokeswoman that praised the athlete's humanitarian work.

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today," spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said, adding the first lady would be open to visiting the I Promise school.
Mary F. Calvert / Reuters

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today," spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said, adding the first lady would be open to visiting the I Promise school.

In response to Trump's "I like Mike!" comment, Michael Jordan also told BuzzFeed News, “I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

“I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community," Michael Jordan tells @BuzzFeedNews through a spokesperson. https://t.co/l4ModD22Nh

On Saturday, James completely ignored Trump's comments and retweeted a tweet from his school that featured sweet images of the students.

Let’s get it kids!! Love you guys https://t.co/kY88geedus

"Let's get it kids!! Love you guys," he tweeted.

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