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First Lady issues statement saying LeBron James is 'working to do good things for our next generation' and offers to visit his school in Akron after her husband insulted the NBA star's intelligence
Don Lemon called Donald Trump racist in an epic 10-minute monologue in response to the President branding him the 'dumbest man on television' after his LeBron James interview.
On his CNN show on Monday night, Lemon said some Americans 'feel emboldened' to be racist in public 'because the president is.'
Lemon told viewers that Trump had made a 'nasty, hateful swipe' at he and James after he had interviewed the NBA star.
'Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,' Trump said in a retaliatory tweet on Friday.'He made Lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do. I like Mike!'
Lemon responded on his show on Monday night: 'Referring to African-Americans as dumb is one of the oldest canards of America's racist past and present – that black people are of inferior intelligence.'
'Let me not mince words here, this president traffics in racism and is fueled by bullying,' he said.
'From keeping children at the border in cages to bullying journalists at every one of his rallies and every chance he gets.'
Lemon added: 'President Trump is trying and divide and conquer strategy and here is how it goes. He divides by race and tries to conquer decency by smearing and besmirching the truth and the people who fight to uphold it.'
He also said the President 'constantly denigrates people of color'.
Lemon told viewers that Trump (pictured) had made a 'nasty, hateful swipe' at he and James
Lemon also asked viewers: 'What about those who don't have a voice? What is his presidency doing to them?.
'The people of color who are attacked by their fellow citizens who feel emboldened to be publicly racist? Because the president is.'
He referenced birtherism, Trump's attacks on Congresswoman Maxine Waters as a 'low IQ individual' and his praise of white nationalists who rallied in Charlottesville as 'very fine people' as evidence of the president's racial bias.
The president had lashed out after Lemon interviewed the three-time NBA champion last week.
During the interview, James said sports was something that unites Americans but that Trump 'used sport to kind of divide us.'
In response to Lemon asking what James would say to the president if he were sitting right there, James said: 'I would never sit across from him. ... I'd sit across from Barack though.'
Trump has lambasted NFL players who knelt during playing of the national anthem as a form of protest against law enforcement's treatment of racial minorities.
And he has disinvited championship teams whose members have been critical of him from traditional White House visits.
Trump branded Don Lemon 'the dumbest man on television' and took a swipe at James' intelligence in a tweet on Friday
I just wanna start by saying that I wouldn't normally address this. As a journalist, I don't really like being the story here but because of how important it is for each of us to stand up for what is right and what is decent, I'm going to tell you exactly how I feel starting right now.
So President Trump is on vacation this week at his golf resort in New Jersey but he's not taking any time from Twitter and apparently from watching me on CNN, which he denies, by the way.
I know this because he tweeted a nasty, hateful swipe and me and LeBron James that we have been discussing here. You've probably read about it or saw it somewhere.
I sat down with the NBA great for a prime-time exclusive of his last week after LeBron opened his I Promise school for 240 at-risk third and fourth graders.
During our conversation, LeBron said this.
[Clips from LeBron James interview plays]
I'm sure that got him.
So as we know, President Trump doesn't like anyone to disagree with him or to criticize him. So he tweeted this late on Friday night. [Tweet appears onscreen]
Well unlike this president who lashes out wildly at anyone who criticizes him, I have pretty thick skin. And LeBron James, in addition to being a brilliant, black man, a superstar in his sport and a hero to his community, is taking the high road – which is exactly where he belongs.
So since his presidency spews so many insults so often, the president has called a lot of people stupid, some of those people are white.
But I would just like to note that referring to African-Americans as dumb is one of the oldest canards of America's racist past and present – that black people are of inferior intelligence.
And pretty much anyone and everyone in this country reacted.
This president constantly denigrates people of color – and women too. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, his new favorite target.
[Clips of Trump attacking Waters]
But then again, this is the same man, who for years, tried to deny the legitimacy of America's first black president by questioning over and over and over whether Barack Obama was born in this country.
[Clips of Trump promoting birtherism]
And black athletes who kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest against racism and police brutality. Well, they get this disrespect.
[Clips of Trump bashing NFL players]
This week marks the one-year anniversary of that violent and deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, the one where angry white racists carried torches and shouted anti-Semitic slogans including 'Jews will not replace us.' The one where Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old young lady was killed by a bigot who intentionally drove his car through a crowd, a crowd that was there to fight against the hate.
But this is how this president famously characterized that.
[Trump's press conference following white nationalist rally in Charlottesville]
The cross-burnings are tiki torches, their white hoods replaced by no hoods and khaki pants, these are the very fine people in the president's eyes.
And let me not mince words here, this president traffics in racism and is fueled by bullying.
From keeping children at the border in cages to bullying journalists at every one of his rallies and every chance he gets.
President Trump is trying and divide and conquer strategy and here is how it goes. He divides by race and tries to conquer decency by smearing and besmirching the truth and the people who fight to uphold it.
I have wondered sometimes if he will succeed, if he's the one who has his finger on the pulse of this country. Is he revealing who we really are? Think about that. Is this who we really are?
The overwhelmingly negative response to his unfair and unkind attack on a good man LeBron James shows that America rejects what he is peddling. Most of America, anyway, not all of America.
But what about the impact his policies have on those without a platform? Through sports like LeBron? Or through media like me? What about those who don't have a voice? What is his presidency doing to them?
The kids separated from their parents at the border or the kids who don't have the chance to attend LeBron's school or any half-way decent school? The parents who can't honestly tell their children to be proud of the President of the United States? The people of color who are attacked by their fellow citizens who feel emboldened to be publicly racist? Because the president is.
Will the country stand up for them? We, the decent and truly patriotic people who really love America and believe in its greatness, have to because clearly Donald Trump won't.Meanwhile, James' interview with Lemon was largely to tout a public school for disadvantaged children that James' foundation helped to open last week.
The 'I Promise' public school in James' hometown of Akron, Ohio, will offer classes for 'at-risk' students in the third and fourth grades and add first and second grades the following year.
A day after Trump's tweet, Lemon hit back with a tweet referring to the president's controversial immigration policy that saw thousands of children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border.
'Who's the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages? Lemon wrote.
He added #BeBest at the end of the tweet, referencing First Lady Melania Trump's initiative to help children.
Melania also appeared to take exception with her husband's attack on James.
During the interview, James said sports was something that unites Americans but that Trump 'used sport to kind of divide us'
'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,' a statement issued by her spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a question on whether the first lady planned to visit the I Promise school.
The president's 'I like Mike!' comment was an apparent reference to the perennial sports debate over whether six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, or James, a four-time league most valuable player, was the NBA's all-time best player.
Jordan, who rarely wades into the political fray, and other athletes rallied to James' defense on Saturday, praising him for his work in his community.
The I Promise school will be finished by 2022 with first through eighth grades.
James also promised a free bicycle and helmets for students and vowed to pay tuition to the University of Akron for I Promise graduates, among other things.
A day after Trump's tweet, Lemon hit back with a post referring to the president's controversial immigration policy that saw thousands of children separated from their parents
LeBron James speaks at the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, in July
The 'I Promise' public school in James' hometown of Akron, Ohio, will offer classes for 'at-risk' students in the third and fourth grades
'Anyone that's done what LeBron James has done for the past decade to 15 years for our children to prepare them to flourish in life has to be an intelligent person,' Akron Public Schools spokesman Mark Williamson said on Monday.
'He's a bright guy, end of story.'
Williamson also called James a great role model.
'He's never let our children down. Not once. He's never let these kids down,' he said.
Although James has long been a Trump critic, calling the president 'U bum' in tweet last year, the tweet on Friday was Trump's first attack on the player.
James, a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, last month announced his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second time, this time to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
'I am the daughter of an immigrant': Ivanka breaks with her father's immigration policy to say separating families at the border was a 'low point' for her and that she is 'vehemently against it'
Melania Trump has publicly gone against her husband to share her support for LeBron James, just one day after the President suggested he was stupid
Melania Trump has gone against the President to publicly congratulate LeBron James on opening the I Promise School, in spite of her husband slamming him as dumb on Friday night.
'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,' first lady spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told Associated Press on Saturday.
Melania's bold statement came just one day after senior aide Reagan Hedlund, who helped to develop the 'Be Best' anti-bullying initiative, was fired.
FLOTUS isn't the only one to throw their support behind James. Michael Jordan threw professional rivalry to the side on Saturday as well to support James.
Trump's bizarre tweet labeled CNN's Dom Lemon as the 'dumbest man on television' after his interview with LeBron James in a bizarre tweet that ended, 'I like Mike!'
'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!' Trump posted on Friday evening, appearing to reference Michael Jordan.
The Commander-in-chief was referring to an interview in which the NBA legend opened up to Lemon about how he felt Trump had used sport to exacerbate US racial tensions.
On Saturday, Jordan weighed in, telling NBC through a spokesman: 'I support LJ. He's doing an amazing job for his community'.
Michael Jordan has sided with Lebron James after President Donald Trump slammed him following an interview the Lakers star did with CNN's Don Lemon
The Commander-in-chief's Friday tweet was referring to an interview on Monday in which the NBA legend opened up to Lemon about how he blamed Trump for stoking division
Melania plays with patients Essence Overton (left), and Natalayah Fields (right), following a roundtable discussion on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) during a visit to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, July 24
James, who recently signed with the Lakers, has repeatedly clashed with the President, and on Monday said he would refuse to ever sit face to face with him.
James is considered by many to be the greatest player in basketball history, rivaled by Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
The debate over who is better has raged on for years and has passionate supporters arguing each side.
On Monday, James spoke at lengths about the President, race and politics in a wide-ranging interview which aired just hours after opening his new 'I Promise School' in Akron, Ohio.
His commitment to children that were falling behind in school, vowing to use the new school to help them not only catch up with their peers, but to excel, was put in direct contrast to several Trump government policies seen to disadvantage young people as social media users erupted over the President's tweet.
Host Don Lemon questioned Trump's right to slam the basketball legend considering his recent good deeds and Trump's recent controversies
Many tweeted both about separating children from their parents at the border, and of changes to how college students are treated and how their education is paid for.
'This week, LeBron opened a school for hundreds of at-risk kids while Donald Trump's education secretary attempts to undo college loan forgiveness for students who were 'knowingly deceived' by their schools, and rolls back Obama-era guidelines on discrimination in schools,' Harrison Faigen, an NBA writer, posted.
'LeBron puts children through school. Trump puts children in cages,' his colleague Joseph Flynn wrote.
Others chose to point out Trump seemed to have little issue with white athletes, and had also publicly slammed Stephen Curry, LaVar Ball, Colin Kaepernick, and Marshawn Lynch.
'Trump has only called Don Lemon & Lebron James 'dumb' and he repeatedly refers to Maxine Waters as 'low IQ',' one man wrote.
'Pop quiz - Besides all being smarter & better in every way than he is, what else do they have in common?
'A) Donald Trump. Is. A. Racist. Pig.'
Some also speculated Trump's attack came as LeBron had moved to California, which is not a swing state like Ohio, where he previously lived, unscathed by the President's wrath.
In 2013, Trump said LeBron was 'a great player and a great guy'.
Even POTUS' supporters found the tweet to be in bad taste. 'I support you but this is unacceptable, you need to apologize immediately,' wrote Wesley Cantrell.
The Commander-in-chief was referring to an interview on Monday in which the NBA legend opened up to Lemon about how he felt Trump had exacerbated US racial tensions
The Lakers star has repeatedly clashed with the President (pictured at a political rally at Mohegan Sun Arena, Pennsylvania on Thursday)
In his interview with Lemon, LeBron described how both athletics and education were high priorities for the young students at his new school, and lamented the idea of politics interfering with sports.
'When you're part of sports, it brings so much camaraderie and so much fun. We are in a position right now, in America more importantly, where this whole race thing has taken over,' he said.
Michael Jordan's support came after Trump finished his anti-James tweet with 'I like Mike!'
'I believe our president is trying to divide us... he is, he's dividing us and what I have noticed over the last few months is that he's kind of used sport to divide.'
James said Trump is creating a wedge by using situations like NFL player Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem and 'uninviting' NBA star Steph Curry to the White House.
He also said he might consider running for office if someone said to him he was the only person and that Trump would win if he didn't step up.
Trump appears to be on thin ice, not just with angry voters, but with his own family as well.
Melania is the second woman in the President's life to publicly distance herself from his opinions this week alone.
Ivanka, the president's daughter and senior adviser, said during an event for the Axios news website on Thursday that seeing the aftermath of separating families at the border – desperate mothers and distraught children – was 'a low point for me.'
'I feel very strongly about that, and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children,' she said in an event at the Newseum in Washington.
Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter, also publicly spoke against him on Thursday, when she described her father's policy of separating children and their parents at the border as a 'low point'
James has also enjoyed support from Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, who tweeted Saturday: 'It should be beneath the dignity of a sitting POTUS to take racist shots at D. Lemon and Lebron James'.
NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns tweeted: '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?'
James appeared to ignore the chaos surrounding him on Saturday, and focused on his new school.
Sharing pictures of local children attending the I Promise School to Twitter, he wrote: 'Let's get it kids!! Love you guys'.
The CNN interview aired just hours after opening his new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio (pictured)
Shocking VIDEO of comedian Andy Dick groping Ivanka Trump on national television before being dragged off stage by Jimmy Kimmel
Ivanka Trump appeared to split with her father's administration Thursday on the thorny topic of what to do with children who cross the border as part of illegal immigrant family units.
The Justice Department has been prosecuting all adult border-jumpers since April, with the exception of many asylum-seekers, leaving their children in the hands of Health and Human Services caseworkers because minors can't be held in adult jails.
Ivanka, the president's daughter and senior adviser, said during an event for the Axios news website that seeing the aftermath – desperate mothers and distraught children – was 'a low point for me.'
First daughter Ivanka Trump said Thursday that seeing illegal immigrant families split apart at the U.S.-Mexico border was 'a low point' in her White Houe tenure
The Justice Department has been prosecuting all adult border-jumpers since April, with the exception of many asylum-seekers, leaving their children in the hands of HHS caseworkers
'I feel very strongly about that, and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children,' she said in an event at the Newseum in Washington.
Ivanka is pictured in 1994 with mom Ivana Trump, who emigrated legally to the U.S. from Communist Czechoslovakia in 1976
'Illegal immigration is incredibly complicated. I am a daughter of an immigrant. My mother grew up in Communist Czech Republic. But we are a country of laws. So you know, she came to this country legally,' she continued.
The first daughter cautioned, however, that going soft on illegals risks inspiring a new flood of Central Americans to make a hazardous trip through the length of Mexico in the hope of a hassle-free transition to American life.
'We have to be very careful about incentivizing behavior that puts children at risk of being trafficked, at risk of entering this country with coyotes or making an incredibly dangerous journey alone,' she said.
'These are not easy issues. These are incredibly difficult issues, and like the rest of the country I experience them in a very emotional way,' she added, showing little emotion as she said it.
Ms. Trump, 36, has largely been publicly silent about the issue since Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the 'zero tolerance' policy in April that gave bureaucrats little choice but to house parents and kids separately.
The conditions in which children including toddlers were processed into the government's bureaucratic system have come under fire, especially from liberals who describe it as 'cages'
She did publicly thank the president once in June after he signed an executive order aimed at ending the practice.
'Thank you @POTUS for taking critical action ending family separation at our border. Congress must now act + find a lasting solution that is consistent with our shared values; the same values that so many come here seeking as they endeavor to create a better life for their families,' Ivanka tweeted.
That executive order, however, was largely toothless: It ordered Sessions to seek a judge's exception to a two-decade-old ruling that put limits on how long the government can house illegal immigrant children.
Ivanka thanked her father in June for signing a toothless executive order that at first appeared to end the practice of family separations
The administration had hoped a longer legal leash would permit them to find family-friendly housing for children and their parents who are awaiting court hearings to occupy together.
The judge, Dolly Gee, roundly rejected the DOJ's arguments last month.
Hours before Ivanka's tweet, The Washington Post reported that she had pressed her father privately on the issue.
The president told congressional Republicans that day how she had described the heart-rending images of adults and children in crisis and begged: 'Can we do anything to stop this?'
The announcement on Monday that Andy Dick would be charged with two counts of battery for allegedly groping a woman back in April did not come as a surprise.
The comedian had been arrested back in 2008 when he allegedly groped the breasts of a 17-year-old girl after pulling her bra down and exposing her breast, while photos obtained by DailyMail.com show Dick groping a woman at a 2003 event and a man back in March.
In both of those photos Dick has slipped his hand under the individual's clothing.
And in 2007, Dick groped one of the most famous women in the world on national television - Ivanka Trump
History: Andy Dick groped Ivanka Trump during a national television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in July 2007
Dick: Ivanka politely tried to remove his hand and Kimmel eventually separated Dick from Ivanka, but he started touching her arm less than a minute later
Got to go: At that point Kimmel walked over to Dick and summoned security, who helped drag Dick out of the studio
Dick and Ivanka were both appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live at the time of the inicident, with the first daughter coming on as the second guest.
She was greeted by Dick, who asked Ivanka for a 'big, wet kiss' right off the bat Kimmel later told Extra.
Things then quickly went downhill with Dick rubbing his hands up and down Ivanka's thigh and knee while she tried to stop the unwanted touching as politely as possible.
Kimmel, to his credit, swooped in to stop Dick from touching Ivanka and then continued the interview.
It was less than a minute later than Dick struck again however, first trying to grab at Ivanka's ponytail and then touching her arm.
That is when Kimmel got out of his chair and went over to Dick while summoning security to join him on stage.
He and a security guard then lifted Dick off the couch and dragged him off the stage.
Not acceptable: Photos obtained show Dick groping a woman at a 2003 (above) event
More: He also groped a man under his clothing this March (above)
'It was time for Andy to go, so I escorted him out by his feet,' Kimmel later told Extra.
He also said that Dick was not at all fazed by how things unfolded that night.
'He’s Andy. He’s not upset. He’s not apologetic. He’s just nutty,' said the host.
'He always makes me a little uncomfortable. You have no idea what he’s going to do next.'
Dick then had the audacity to make light of the time he sexually harassed Ivanka back in December.
'The time I "groped" Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, on Jimmy Kimmel Live,' wrote Dick.
'Her legs were sparkling, and I was trying to see if the glitter would wipe off. I also mistakenly thought she would date me. I was jokingly carried off by security.'
He then tried to equate his behavior that night to President Trump's actions.
'Is anybody going to carry Trump off? No joke. Confusing times.'