On Feb. 18, President Donald Trump claimed Oprah Winfrey — Oprah Winfrey, of all people — is “very insecure.”
“Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey … interview a panel of people on ’60 Minutes,'” Trump wrote. “The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect.”
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
The “60 Minutes” episode he’s referring to featured Winfrey chatting with 14 voters from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Seven of the voters had supported Trump in the 2016 election, and seven had not.
Winfrey dropped in on the Feb. 21 episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and Trump’s tweet inevitably came up.
“Speaking of tequila,” DeGeneres segued, as seen in a clip from the episode. “Have you been drinking an extra amount since that tweet that the president put out? … What was it like for you to find out about that?”
Winfrey paused for a moment. “I woke up and I just thought…” she said, before throwing her hands up and shaking her head.
“I don’t like giving negativity power,” she noted. “So I just thought … ‘what?’“
Winfrey did, however, take issue with the president’s claim that the episode — which touched on a variety of topics, including the GOP’s tax legislation, the #MeToo movement, and Trump’s fitness for office — had been biased against him. “60 Minutes” had many producers working to make sure the framing of the questions and the editing of the segments were fair and nonpartisan, Winfrey explained.
If anything, she argued, Winfrey had been a voice ensuring the conservatives’ viewpoints were on display. “I was working very hard to do the opposite of what I was hate-tweeted about,” she said, giving DeGeneres a specific example to illustrate her point.
DeGeneres also asked Winfrey about another hot button issue facing the country: gun violence.
Winfrey recently announced she’d be following in George and Amal Clooney’s footsteps and give $500,000 to March for Our Lives — a student-organized demonstration in Washington, D.C., pushing for more gun control legislation.
George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) February 20, 2018
The event, planned for March 24, is being organized in large part by the teens who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, which left 17 people dead.
As Winfrey hinted in her tweet, the high schoolers leading the way on this issue inspired her to speak up and donate to the demonstration — funds that will be used on things like hotels and transportation — to make sure as many young people can attend the event next month as possible.
“This is exactly what happened during the civil rights movement,” Winfrey told DeGeneres. “People like John Lewis and Diane Nash: They were 18, 19, 20 years old. Young people who said, ‘We’ve had enough.’ And these kids [today] are right there.”
Winfrey did give the students some advice in the weeks and months ahead, though: It can’t just be protesting in the street — they need to stay organized for the long haul. “The reason why the civil rights movement worked was because there was a strategy,” she said. “There was a plan.”
Watch Winfrey talk about her support for March for Our Lives in the clip below:
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