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Former President Donald Trump's transgender joke about LeBron James drew outrage and criticism from LGBT+ groups.

Trump made the remark during a "Rally to Protect Our Elections" in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday.

He mused about signing male-to-female transgender players if he coached women's basketball.

Trump joked that the Los Angeles Lakers star could "get the operation" to change his sex in order to compete in women's basketball.

"If I were a coach, I wouldn't be talking to too many women as we know women," he said. "I'd be getting some of these people that [believe] they're 'women.'"

He continued:

"Somebody said that if LeBron James ever decided to get the operation, how would he be on the court? How would he be?

"LeBron James, you can have him. Did you see the [NBA] ratings that were terrible? They went up after his team was defeated."

James was a vocal anti-Trump critic while the former president was in office.

Trump called James "racist" and "divisive" after the NBA star tweeted a response to the police killing of Ohio teenager Ma'Khia Bryant in April.