Trump took a swing at LeBron while indicating his preference for Chicago Bulls veteran Michael Jordan in the long-running Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) superstar debate.
Calling Lemon "the dumbest man on television," Trump quipped that the anchor "made LeBron look smart, which isn't easy to do."
The president's animosity towards Lemon is part of a long-running feud, with Trump referring to the anchor as the "dumbest man on television," "dumb as a rock," and "a lightweight" on previous occasions going back to 2016. Last October, CNN, whom Trump has derided as a Fake News organization, accused the President of 'online bullying' through his attacks on Lemon. In March, Lemon accused Trump of being a "racist."
Trump has a separate feud with LeBron James connected to his dispute with the Golden State Warriors and their captain Stephen Curry. Trump disinvited the team's invitation to the White House after their 2017 championship win after Curry and other players attacked him over his "unacceptable" and "divisive" rhetoric and behavior over NFL players' kneeling during the national anthem to protest perceived racial inequality. LeBron called Trump a "bum" on Twitter after he disinvited Curry, with his tweet becoming the most-retweeted Twitter post by an athlete in 2017. Earlier this year, LeBron accused Trump of not "giv[ing] a f*** about the people."
Trump's latest attack prompted a major backlash on social media, with users urging the President to focus on the real problems in the world while pointing to LeBron's charity activities. Others simply cracked jokes.
Of all the problems in the world, Trump used his presidential authority to call LeBron James stupid last night. LeBron just opened a school for at-risk kids, providing them free tuition, bicycles, food, counseling & guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron if they graduate.— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 4, 2018
My God. Really??? You’re the President of the United States, for Christ’s sake! Not some small-time snark-artist comic in search of a punchline who has to have a “take” on absolutely every triviality! You’re supposed to inspire people, not debase the tone of all public discourse!— MAURICE LAMARCHE (@MAURICELAMARCHE) August 4, 2018
How do you insult a man's intelligence while spelling his name wrong twice? You're a petty, incompetent, barely literate, idiotic malcontent who got everything from his rich daddy. You should aspire to be LeBron.— Kelly Scaletta (@KellyScaletta) 4 августа 2018 г.
Trump supporters rushed to defend the president, suggesting LeBron focus on his basketball career.
Trump is undefeated in elections.— American Stormtrooper❌ (@BucTrooper) August 4, 2018
How many finals has LeBron lost? pic.twitter.com/LCHCzPsg9p
Others users pointed to Trump's apparent lack of consistency, recalling his previous tweets showering LeBron with praise and calling him a "great guy!"
A tweet for every occassion. pic.twitter.com/UqcqezJ6Fz— ItsJustJoe 🇨🇦 (@JoeCanada99) August 4, 2018
Don Lemon himself eventually joined the fray, accusing Trump of being "the real dummy" for putting kids "in cages," in reference to the scandal involving the separation of children from their illegal immigrant parents by US immigration authorities.