Iran’s former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s quest to return to the spotlight now includes weighing in on a spat between US President Donald Trump and basketball star LeBron James.
Ahmadinejad used Twitter — which is banned in Iran — to write Sunday: “In my opinion everyone especially a President should love all, and not differentiate between them.” He added that he loved NBA greats James and Michael Jordan, as well as former Denver Nuggets player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
Trump wrote a tweet Friday night questioning James’ intelligence after he gave an interview to CNN and criticized the American president.
Although James has long been a Trump critic, calling the president “U bum” in a 2017 tweet, the tweet was Trump’s first attack on the player, who just opened up a school for underprivileged children in his hometown of Akron.
“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” Trump posted. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”
Trump then, unexpectedly, appeared to weigh in on the growing debate over who is the greatest NBA player of all time, James or Michael Jordan, by writing “I like Mike!”
Trump has long denounced the media — CNN in particular — and rarely lets a slight go unnoticed. But the attack on James, who was being interviewed by another black man, to some resembled a racial dog whistle. He routinely deems Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who is also black, as “low IQ” — an insult he repeated during a Ohio rally Saturday night.
Ahmadinejad famously questioned the Holocaust and claimed there were no gays or lesbians in Iran. He frequently attacked Israel, calling it an “insult to humanity” and “a cancerous tumor.”