The saga between President Trump and LaVar Ball took another turn when the president responded to a tweet early Thanksgiving morning.
Opinion writer Greg Sargent published a story in The Washington Post where he argued that Trump’s popular tweetstorms against celebrities since becoming president have had something in common:
Let’s be clear about this: President Trump regularly goes out of his way to attack prominent African Americans not just to “stoke the culture wars,” as this euphemism often has it — but, more precisely, to stoke the sense among many of his supporters that the system is unfairly rigged on behalf of minorities, and that he’s here to put things right.
Sargent mentioned Trump’s repeated attacks on NFL players who kneel during national anthem protests — most recently including Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch — and his attack on Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) when she supported the widow of Green Beret Sgt. La David Johnson. Johnson’s widow expressed “hurt” after a phone conversation she had with Trump in which he forgot her deceased husband’s name and said that Johnson “knew what he signed up for.”
On Wednesday, Sargent tweeted his bold piece with a teaser saying, “Trump regularly attacks high-profile African Americans to feed his supporters’ belief that the system is rigged for minorities.” Trump responded to Sargent’s tweet by saying “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
The exchange is available on Twitter.
Critics were quick to question Trump’s reply on Twitter.
“If anyone still doubts,
@POTUS @realDonaldTrump just tweeted ‘MAGA’ in response to an article about him showing a racist pattern of conduct. To POTUS, aggressive white supremacist racism ‘makes America great.’ His response,” one accused.
Another asked, “Um, Don. Look. Why do you think this response is a good idea?”
“Amazing. A tweet calls out Trump’s racism. Trump replies, ‘Hell yeah!'” observed a third.
Trump’s holiday tweeting came after he and Ball exchanged a war of words over the arrest and subsequent release of Ball’s son LiAngelo.
The younger Ball and two of his fellow UCLA basketball teammates were jailed in China following accusations of shoplifting, potentially facing a 10-year sentence. Trump demanded thanks after taking credit for the release of the three.
While the boys thanked Trump for his help in a press conference, the older Ball said, “Who? What was [Trump] over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
Ball then appeared on CNN, where he told anchor Chris Cuomo in a hectic interview that he doesn’t “go around saying thank you.”
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that Ball was “just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.”