Unexpected basketball fan Mahmoud Ahmedinejad weighs in on Trump-LeBron James spat

Unexpected basketball fan Mahmoud Ahmedinejad weighs in on Trump-LeBron James spat
King James or His Airness? "I love all athletes" boasts Iran's ex-PM as he joins chorus of popular uproar against Trump's Twitter diatribe.
2 min read
06 August, 2018
Trump's take-down of LeBron James spurned resistance from many fronts [Getty]
No stranger to controversy, Iran's former Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has weighed in on Trump's Twitter spat du jour with basketball superstar LeBron James.

The tussle comes after James slated the US President during a TV interview for the opening of a school he set up, saying Trump "used sports to divide us".

Defaulting to his favourite tool of response, Trump tweeted his frustration, but unintentionally proved James' original claim right.

"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 Saturday, referring to fellow basketball icon Michael Jordan.

Melania Trump was swiflty called in for damage control the next day, with her spokesperson announcing: "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."

Among the chorus of disgust, ridicule and op-eds spawned by Trump's tweet, its dog-whistle racism and its huge misunderstanding of mainstream American culture, came an unlikely voice: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Read more: Shots fired! Iran's top five fiercest Trump put-downs

"Mr. @realDonaldTrump In my opinion everyone especially a President should love all, and not differentiate between them. I love @KingJames #MichaelJordan @RaufMahmoud and all athletes, and wish them all the best," he tweeted referring to basketball legends Lebron James, Michael Jordan and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.

However hard it is to believe that Ahmadinejad - the man who claimed no gay people existed in Iran - "loves all", Donald Trump can certainly unite some very unlikely allies against him.

Ahmadinejad, a conservative hardliner who governed the Islamic Republic from 2005 to 2013, has made headlines for hateful and prejudiced comments of his own. He has previously voiced doubt over whether the Holocaust took place, and claimed that 9/11 was an inside job.

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