As talk of Oprah Winfrey making a run at the White House intensifies, some past words and a tweet from Donald Trump are being closely examined.
Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech Sunday evening fueled speculation that the influential media mogul could have her sights set on a possible 2020 presidential run.
That would mean she would be a challenger to President Donald Trump.
During an interview with CNN’s Larry King back in 1999, Trump talked about a potential run for the White House. He named Oprah as his first choice for running mate.
“Oprah. I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice,” Trump told King. “If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic. I mean, she’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman.”
And in 2012, Trump tweeted that Oprah “knows how to win.”
Oprah will end up doing just fine with her network–she knows how to win. @Oprah
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 5, 2012
The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, praised Winfrey’s speech.
The White House senior adviser tweeted, “Just saw @Oprah’s empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #United”
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 9, 2018
Of a potential Oprah run, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said: “We welcome the challenge, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else.”
In the past, Winfrey has denied interest in running for office, but her impassioned remarks about the #MeToo movement and forward-looking tone didn’t do much to put rest to the rumors that she could throw her hat in the 2020 ring.
And according to three of Winfrey’s close friends who requested anonymity to speak freely, Winfrey is “actively thinking” about running for president in 2020.
A spokesperson for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network declined CNN’s request for comment on her intentions.
Ivanka Trump’s support for the speech and nod to the #MeToo movement garnered criticism, as at least 15 women have come forward with a wide range of accusations against her father, ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault to lewd behavior around women. Of the women, 13 say Trump attacked them directly and two others say they witnessed behavior that made them uncomfortable. All the alleged incidents took place prior to Trump’s assuming the presidency.
He has denied the allegations.