Veteran journalist Dan Rather blasted Donald Trump for his late-night tweet criticizing basketball star LeBron James, saying the president’s tweet reeked of “racist” overtones, according to The Hill.
Rather himself took to Twitter to come down heavily on Trump, saying it was strange that the president was preoccupied with LeBron James’ comments way past bedtime.
“This is apparently what the President of the United States feels the need to share with the world at what should be long past his bedtime?
It’s a disgrace. It’s racist. And it’s the product of petty but dangerous hatreds. I repeat this is the PRESIDENT??!?”
This was in response to Trump’s tweet in which he mocked James’ intelligence as well as that of CNN host Don Lemon after the former appeared on Lemon’s show and said that the president’s intentions were to “divide us.”
“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” Trump tweeted. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”
LeBron had earlier appeared on CNN to discuss his plans of creating an elementary school to support kids from poor backgrounds in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. During the interview, Lemon asked LeBron, who hasn’t shied away from slamming Trump in the past, about what he would say if he got an opportunity to sit across the table from Trump and discuss issues that mattered.
“I would never sit across from him,” LeBron said, also adding that Trump was “using sports to kinda divide us… Sports has never been something that divides people. It’s always been something that brings someone together.”
This is, of course, not the first time that LeBron and Trump have sparred, although it has not always been that way. Trump has professed his appreciation of LeBron’s qualities in the past, having called him a “tough competitor” who always delivered “under pressure.”
But since Trump became president, the relationship has gone sour particularly in light of Trump criticizing black athletes in the NFL for kneeling during the national anthem. According to the Guardian, James called Donald Trump a “bum” last September after the latter withdrew his offer to the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House to celebrate their basketball championship win.
“Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!” James tweeted at the time.
It appears unlikely that their feud is going to die down, with LeBron James and Donald Trump both certain that their fondness for the other is not going to grow with time.