The President of the United States of America recently did something he has become known for, taking to Twitter to lash out at his critics. This time, it was the world-famous basketball star and philanthropist Lebron James.
The man who is commonly known as ‘the best basketball player in the world” made headlines at the end of July when he opened “I Promise,” a new public school in Akron, Ohio.
“I Promise” is a project funded by both the Lebron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools. The school offers attendees things not found at other public schools, like free uniforms, free bicycles and helmets, free breakfast, lunch and snacks, and free tuition to the University of Akron for everyone who graduates from the school. It also offers a food pantry, job placement services for parents, and it offers opportunities for parents to obtain a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
James did an interview with CNN host Don Lemon, where he talked about opening the I Promise school
Four days after that interview aired, Trump took to Twitter to respond to James’ comments.
It took little to no time for that tweet to go viral, like many of Trump’s tweets. Several athletes and other celebrities defended James and criticized Trump for his tweet. Michael Jordan, who the president referenced when he said “I like Mike,” also stood up for James.
“I support Lebron James. He’s doing an amazing job for his community,” Jordan said through a spokeswoman.
This isn’t the first time Trump has clashed with James on social media. In 2017, Lebron posted a tweet that quickly went viral, where he called Trump a “bum.”
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
This tweet was in response saying that the Golden State Warriors weren’t invited to the White House. The Warriors had won the 2017 NBA championship. Warriors star Stephen Curry had said the day before Trump’s announcement that he didn’t want to visit the White House.
While James and Curry might be the biggest figures Trump has tangled with on social media, he is not the only one. Trump has gone after many celebrities. He’s had online feuds with Robert De Niro, Bette Midler, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Martha Stewart and many others.
Hitting back at critics on twitter is something Trump was known for long before beginning his presidential campaign in 2015. Since becoming president, Trump has used not only twitter to hit back at critics. He’s using public appearances, primarily campaign rallies across the country for congressional candidates he has endorsed.
In 2017, he referred to any NFL player who kneels during the anthem as a “son of a bitch” during a campaign rally for Luther Strange in Alabama. Strange was running in a special election for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General.
These feuds solicit huge responses from his critics, but they solicit even bigger responses from his base. Trump supporters respond with positive excitement when he posts a tweet or makes such a bold statement at a campaign rally. This past June, Trump’s approval rating among Republicans was about 90 percent, making him just as popular among Republicans as George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Midterms are approaching, as they are less than three months away. Trump has traveled across the country attending campaign rallies and endorsing candidates for Congress. He’s used this strategy relentlessly along the way. As the country gets closer to the midterm elections, expect even more jabs at critics in tweets and speeches.
You can read more from Mike Ursury on Think Liberty here.