US First Lady Melania Trump has backed basketball player LeBron James, hours after her husband made insulting remarks about him on Twitter.
James had said in an interview that Mr Trump was divisive and had emboldened racists.
In response, Mr Trump questioned James’ intelligence, saying it was not easy to make the NBA player “look smart”.
However, Mrs Trump’s spokeswoman said James was “working to do good things” with a school in his Ohio hometown.
She said Mrs Trump wanted “to have an open dialogue about issues facing children”.
Earlier this week, James told CNN during an interview with Don Lemon that sport had offered him the opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds and race.
“Sports has never been something that divides people. It’s always been something that brings someone together,” he said.
“He [Mr Trump] is dividing us and what I noticed over the last few months is that he’s kinda used sport to divide us and that’s something I can’t relate to, because I know that sport was the first time I was ever around someone white.”
He also argued that Mr Trump’s actions had encouraged racists, saying: “I think [racism’s] always been there. But I think the president in charge now has given people – they don’t care now, they throw it to your face.”
On Saturday, the president responded on Twitter by saying: “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon.