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CNN, Michael Jordan push again at Trump’s assault on LeBron James, Don Lemon

By Brian Stelter and Nicole Chavez, CNN(CNN) — It began on a quiet Friday night time, ...


— It began on a quiet Friday night time, when CNN re-aired Don Lemon’s interview with LeBron James.

The interview targeted on James’ contributions to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, together with a brand new public college for at-risk third- and fourth-graders there. However the two males additionally mentioned politics. James informed Lemon that President Donald Trump has used athletics and athletes to divide the nation.

“I am unable to sit again and say nothing,” James mentioned.

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The President was watching. Shortly earlier than midnight, he tweeted: “Lebron James was simply interviewed by the dumbest man on tv, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look good, which is not straightforward to do.”

“I like Mike!” the President added in what gave the impression to be a reference to the continued debate on who’s the best NBA participant of all time, James or Jordan.

Now Lemon and Jordan have each responded, whereas James has shrugged off the insult. And most curious of all, first girl Melania Trump weighed in, siding with James over her husband.

It appears Trump’s late-night tweet has led to a different disagreement between the President and his spouse.

How? Properly, of their responses to the President’s tweet, CNN and Lemon each invoked the primary girl’s #BeBest initiative, which goals to help kindness and respect.

“Who’s the true dummy? A person who places children in school rooms or one who places children in cages? #BeBest,” Lemon tweeted Saturday morning.

The primary girl’s workplace was requested by information organizations for remark. As an alternative of ignoring the requests or mirroring the President’s assault in opposition to the NBA star, the primary girl’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, praised James and his charitable work in a press release offered to CNN.

“It appears to be like like LeBron James is working to do good issues on behalf of our subsequent era and simply as she at all times has, the First Woman encourages everybody to have an open dialogue about points dealing with youngsters right this moment,” Grisham mentioned. “As you understand, Mrs. Trump has traveled the nation and world speaking to youngsters about their well-being, wholesome dwelling, and the significance of accountable on-line habits together with her Be Greatest initiative.”

Grisham added that the primary girl can be open to visiting James’ “I Promise” college.

The college had no instant touch upon Saturday.

What was the President watching on Friday night time?

Let’s get again to the interview for a second. The James sit-down was a giant scoop for Lemon, who hosts “CNN Tonight” on weekday evenings.

Within the interview, James made a reference to soccer participant Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protests launched an NFL motion, and fellow NBA star Stephen Curry, who final 12 months mentioned he wouldn’t go to the White Home after the Golden State Warriors received the championship, prompting the President to disinvite him.

“He is attempting to divide our sport, however on the finish of the day, sport is the explanation why all of us come collectively,” James mentioned.

When Lemon requested, “What would you say to the President if he was sitting proper right here?” James mentioned “I might by no means sit throughout from him.” He added: “I would sit throughout from Barack, although.”

Trump is legendary for his counter-punching. However his insulting response was curious for a number of causes. He has praised James previously, repeatedly calling him a fantastic participant and a “nice man.” These tweets had been again in 2013 and 2015.

Extra not too long ago, in 2017, Trump claimed on Twitter that “I by no means watch Don Lemon.”

His insistence that he would not watch CNN is regularly contradicted by his complaints in regards to the community.

The New York Instances reported final week that Trump was enraged when he boarded Air Power One and noticed the primary girl’s TV set was tuned to CNN. He evidently needed all TV units tuned to Fox Information. In response, Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham mentioned she is going to watch “any channel she desires.”

CNN’s public relations division made a sly reference to that brouhaha in response to Trump’s insult on Saturday morning.

“Feels like @FLOTUS had the distant final night time,” @CNNPR wrote. “We hope you each noticed the unbelievable work of @KingJames.”

CNN PR additionally included the #BeBest hashtag.

Different journalists and athletes additionally got here to Lemon and James’ protection. Some outspoken critics denounced Trump’s tweet as one other show of racism by the President. Acclaimed sportswriter Invoice Simmons wrote that James is a “good dude” and “one of the vital considerate athletes now we have.” He mentioned Trump’s jab “feels greater than just a little racist.”

And if Trump was attempting to drive a wedge between James and Jordan, he failed.

On Saturday, Jordan ignored Trump’s reward of him and mentioned he has James’ again.

“I help LeBron James. He is doing a tremendous job for his group,” Jordan mentioned by a spokeswoman.

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