Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Melania Steps Up for Lebron after the President's Mocking Tweet, Flotus Praises James' Work for Kids

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Melania Steps Up for Lebron after the President's Mocking Tweet, Flotus Praises James' Work for Kids

Article excerpt

One of the most intriguing things about Melania Trump is the pointed yet cryptic way she seems to have found to drag her husband.

She leaves clues that appear to be subversive invitations to draw larger theories about what she's really trying to tell us.

Perhaps we, her followers, should start calling ourselves MAnon.

Our oracular first lady was at it again on Saturday, seeming to issue a deft smackdown to a childish tweet President Donald Trump had fired off late the night before.

"Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon," Mr. Trump tweeted. "He made Lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do. I like Mike!"

First, let's unpack the tweet: The interview in question was on CNN, a network that Mr. Trump has claimed he does not watch. The topic was the admirable work that King James is doing in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Among the projects he has funded is a public school for at-risk third- and fourth-graders.

But the discussion veered into politics, as they all seem to do these days, and Mr. James criticized the president for using sports to divide the country.

That was enough to trigger a presidential eruption, capped off by a kicker - "I like Mike!" - that was almost certainly a reference to the current debate over who's the best basketball player of all time, LeBron James or Michael Jordan. Then CNN jumped in with a rejoinder that alluded to a New York Times report that the president had gone into a rage when he discovered that his wife's television on Air Force One was tuned to CNN.

"Sounds like @FLOTUS had the remote last night. We hope you both saw the incredible work of @KingJames," CNN's communications team tweeted.

Ah, but it was Melania Trump who added the coup de grace, with a statement issued by her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham.

"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," Ms. …

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