No, Oprah Winfrey doesn’t want to run for public office, but she has entered the fray by campaigning in Georgia to get Stacey Abrams elected as governor. On Sunday, President Trump traveled to the Peach State to support Abrams’s rival — and apparently discuss his fallen friendship with the OWN honcho.
“Oprah was a friend of mine until I ran for office,” Trump told the crowd in Macon, Ga., while campaigning for Brian Kemp. “Once I ran for office, she diverged.”
“Oprah was a friend of mine until I ran for public office,” Pres Trump says in Macon, Ga.
— Steve Holland (@steveholland1) November 4, 2018
He told the crowd that Winfrey has “has been down to Mar-a-Lago,” which seems to be some sort of marker in his mind in proving the strength of friendships with celebrities. “Until I ran for office, we did very well. We had a good relationship. I like Oprah.”
Trump got his facts wrong though, talking about how he appeared on one of the talk-show queen’s final shows before it ended in May 2011. He said she “had the five most important people on that week” and insisted he was one of them, saying, “Well I was on her full show in the last week,” adding, “I think they are trying to burn the tape.”
His final appearance on her show was actually months before — on Feb. 7, 2011. It’s a false claim he’s repeated before. Reporters were tweeting about it on Sunday.
This is the fourth time Trump has lied that he was on Oprah’s show in its last week, but it’s the first time he’s claimed it was because he was super-important to Oprah. https://t.co/e8jiuzrDTA
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 4, 2018
Trump: “Oprah’s been down to Mar-a-Lago,” then claims he was on her last week of shows (he wasn’t), then insinuates they’re”trying to burn the tape.” (Which explains why the tape of the show he wasn’t on doesn’t exist!)
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 4, 2018
For her part, during Oprah’s campaign appearances, she didn’t even utter the T-word — instead she used words like “vitriol” and “crazy talk” to describe the current state of politics in Trump’s America.
Trump’s relationship with Winfrey does date far back. In a 1988 appearance on her show, two years after he popular chat show started, he discussed running for office. That year, Winfrey attended two different events in Atlantic City, N.J., with Donald and Ivanka — including one at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.
And like Trump said, Winfrey did go to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s estate and private club in Palm Beach, Fla. She hosted a lavish 80th birthday party for Maya Angelou there, presumably in 2008. She also had the best turkey burger “in the entire world” there — and wanted everyone to know about it. Ditto the key lime pie.
That said, it’s not like the pair hung out all the time. The most recent photos of them on Getty Images are from 1996. Prior to that, the 1998 shots. But as of 2013, Trump still thought Oprah was “terrific.” Even after he launched his presidential campaign, he posted a link to his 1988 appearance on her show.
Winfrey, a Barack Obama supporter, poked the beast in February when she did a 60 Minutes segment in which she interviewed a group of Trump voters and non-Trump voters. Seems fair enough, but Trump took to Twitter to call his old pal “very insecure.”
Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2018
Winfrey finally commented on the hate tweet during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres. “I woke up and I just thought…” she shrugged. “I don’t like giving negativity power, so I just thought, ‘What?’” She then went back to review the segment to see if it “was slanted or biased” and called her producer. After reflecting on it, she felt she had worked “very hard to do the opposite of what I was hate-tweeted about, [but] it’s OK.”
The midterm election is Tuesday. If Kemp wins, we expect to hear from Trump. If not, radio silence — or maybe another “insecure” tweet.
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