Donald Trump launches late-night attack on Oprah Winfrey

President says he hopes the talk show host runs 'so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others' 

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 19 February 2018 13:40
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Voters discuss Donald Trump's presidency on CBS' 60 Minutes

Donald Trump called Oprah Winfrey “insecure” in a late night attack on the talk show host who is rumoured to be contemplating a presidential bid.

The US leader said he hoped the talk show host would run against him in 2020 so she can be “exposed” and “defeated just like all of the others!”

He was commenting after watching her interview on 60 Minutes – a political panel discussion shown on US broadcaster CBS News.

“Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes,” the world leader tweeted.

“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!”

Winfrey interviewed seven individuals who voted for Mr Trump and seven who voted against. Her line of questioning prompted a heated debate between the ideologically opposed groups in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

She asked them about the president’s tax plan, his reported reference to "sh*thole countries" and about America’s diminishing reputation in the wider world.

She questioned whether Mr Trump was suitable for the top job.

"There have been some members of Congress, including Republicans, questioning his stability and fitness for office," she said. "What do you think of that, and do you believe he has the temperament to be president?"

Winfrey also asked: "How many people here voted for him? Just to remind everybody. And how many of you would vote for him again?"

Winfrey has repeatedly insisted she has no ambitions to run for president despite mounting calls for her to throw her hat into the ring and the Oprah2020 hashtag gaining increasing traction on Twitter.

But speculation that she might campaign mounted after her speech at the Golden Globes awards ceremony in January, when she addressed gender and racial equality in the US.

Asked about it then, she said a presidential run was "not something that interests me" and she didn't have "the DNA for it.”

Mr Trump was also confident he would be able to defeat her, when he was questioned about a potential run after the speech.

He said: “Yeah, I’d beat Oprah. Oprah would be a lot of fun. I know her very well. I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s gonna run.”

At one point during his own presidential campaign, Mr Trump reportedly toyed with the notion of asking her to be his running mate.

But Winfrey, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, insisted she had no plans to join the billionaire property developer at the time, saying: “Donald, I’m with her!”

Winfrey’s capacity to significantly influence public opinion has been dubbed “The Oprah Effect”.

The media mogul, who is the first and only black person in the US to become a multi-billionaire, is a significant influencer in the country.

One estimate suggested that her endorsement of Barack Obama between 2006 and 2008 delivered over a million votes in the 2008 Democratic primary race.

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