It was only a matter of time before President Donald Trump weighed in on speculation that Oprah Winfrey will run for the White House in 2020.
“Yeah, I’ll beat Oprah,” Trump said when asked about Winfrey’s potential candidacy by a White House pool reporter on Tuesday, as seen in the video below.
He later clarified that he’d welcome the challenge. “Oprah would be a lot of fun,” he said. “I know her very well. You know, I did one of her last shows. She had Donald Trump — this was before politics — her last week, and she had Donald Trump and my family. It was very nice.”
He added, “No, I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s going to run… I know her very well.”
The past 48 hours have been fueled by intense speculation that Winfrey, coming off her galvanizing and inspiring speech at Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards, is mulling a run for president on the advice of confidantes. CNN reported she was “actively” considering it on Monday, and after initially saying it would never happen, Winfrey’s close friend Gayle King hedged a bit on Tuesday, saying that things could “change” and that Winfrey was “very intrigued” by the prospect of running.
Winfrey would presumably run as a Democrat, meaning that if she were to emerge victorious in the primaries and Trump decided to run for re-election, the two would square off in 2020.
In a 1999 interview on CNN’s Larry King Live, Trump indicated that he would want Winfrey to be his running mate if he ever ran for president. “If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic,” said Trump. “She’s popular. She’s brilliant. She’s a wonderful woman. If she’d ever do it, I don’t know if she’d ever do it.”
In her speech at Sunday night’s Golden Globes, Winfrey touched on the targeting of news outlets, as well as the #MeToo movement. “We all know the press is under siege these days,” she said. “I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.”