Oprah Winfrey has responded publicly Thursday to President Trump's tweets attacking her, and despite being singled out for derision by the president, Oprah's response to Trump's tweets just brushed the hate right off. She said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she doesn't "like giving negativity power."
The tweets in question appeared Sunday in Trump's timeline. The president wrote that Winfrey was "insecure" and called questions from her segment on the television news program 60 Minutes "biased and slanted." The tweet ended with Trump writing he hoped Winfrey would run for president, "so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!"
When asked by DeGeneres about her reaction, Winfrey said her first response was, "What?" In fact, Winfrey said that she "went back and looked at the tape to see if there was any place that that could be true."
"Did I feel like it was slanted or biased?" she said. "I went back and looked at every tape; I called the producers."
Winfrey went on to detail the multi-step editing process involved before the 60 Minutes segment went on air. The piece features Winfrey interviewing several voters in Michigan who represent a range of political viewpoints. And according to Winfrey, "I was working very hard to do the opposite of what I was hate-tweeted about, [but] it's OK."
Trump may be the one showing his insecurity, in fact. Oprah's speech at the Golden Globe awards in January inspired much speculation that the famed talk show host and network owner might make a run at the presidency. Certainly, Democrats by and large were thrilled at the prospect of putting Winfrey at the top of their ticket.
From a certain perspective, few can boast the credentials Winfrey brings to the table — famous in her own right and massively successful in business, with impressive likability ratings to boot. In an era when Americans are obviously willing to give the presidency to a celebrity, many Democrats see Winfrey's name recognition as an asset.
But Winfrey herself has denied that she'd take on a presidential campaign and the realities it entails. In the March issue of InStyle, Winfrey said, "I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not." Concerning running for president, Winfrey followed up by saying, "It’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.”
But die-hard hopefuls might hold on to previous statements that indicated otherwise. Back in early January, Winfrey's longtime partner Stedman Graham said she would "absolutely do it" — the "it" meaning run for president. Another longtime confidant of Winfrey's, Richard Sher, predicted "she'd win" if she decided to try for the Oval Office, but said that for now, Winfrey was just "happy that what she had to say struck such a chord around the country.”
One person who would most definitely give Winfrey her vote is DeGeneres. Following Trump's derogatory tweet, she went on her titular program and put the POTUS on notice. "Oprah is my friend, and when you mess with Oprah, you mess with me," DeGeneres said.
The daytime talk show host went further, telling Trump it was time for an "'aha' moment" concerning his Twitter habit. "You're the president for all of us. It is your job to unite people, and you don't do it by attacking people, especially Oprah," DeGeneres said.
Trump has come under criticism on countless occasions for his censor-free approach to name-calling on Twitter. Just about anyone who crosses the president can expect to end up on the receiving end of a Trump tweet screed.
But Winfrey's been named Forbes' most influential celebrity on more than one occasion, so Trump might want to think again before he picks her as a target. As for Winfrey and her signature serenity, both appear unfazed by the president's jabs.