05/08/2018 10:40 BST | Updated 06/08/2018 10:18 BST

Melania Breaks With Donald Trump Over Controversial LeBron James Tweet

Trouble in para... the White House?

Melania Trump has made a public statement in support of the latest target of her husband’s Twitter account, LeBron James.

The First lady praised the basketball star’s charity work after the President called him “dumb” in a tweet on Saturday.

Trump was referring to an interview CNN’s Don Lemon did in the days after James, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his foundation had opened a public school for some of the most disadvantaged children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

Melania Trump said in a statement issued by her spokeswoman: “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.”

Allison Farrand via Getty Images
LeBron James addresses the media following the grand opening of the I Promise school on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio.

Although James has long been a Trump critic, calling the president “U bum” in a 2017 tweet, the Friday night tweet was Mr Trump’s first attack on the player, who has just opened up a school for underprivileged children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

His tweet was roundly condemned.

The president also, 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!”

But in yet another blow for the President, Jordan came out in support of James, saying he’s “doing amazing work for his community”.