Winfrey, a Democrat and steadfast supporter of Hillary Clinton, has repeatedly insisted she harbours no ambitions to run for president
Oprah Winfrey has said she decided not to hit back at Donald Trump’s late night Twitter rant about her because she does not like giving attention to “negativity”.
The US President labelled the talk show host, who is rumoured to be considering a presidential bid, “insecure” in social media posts earlier in the week. He said he hoped Winfrey would throw her hat into the presidential ring in 2020 so she can be “exposed” and “defeated just like all of the others!”
The world leader 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,” Trump tweeted.
Winfrey has been careful not to say anything disparaging about Mr Trump in response and instead explained that she decided not to rise to his bait.
“I don’t like giving negativity power, so I just thought, ‘What?'” she told the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
But the media mogul said she watched the segment again to see if the criticism president Trump levied at her had any real basis. Winfrey explained producers of the show had even made sure to include an additional response from a Trump supporter at her own request to guarantee balance.
Winfrey was also pressed about Mr Trump’s tirade about her on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Displaying Trump’s tweet on the screen behind them, Jimmy Kimmel asked: “Have you ever been ‘insecure’ anytime in the last 35 years?”
“I’m trying to think about, have I ever … I’m trying to think when that would be,” Winfrey replied.
Asked if she had ever thought about responding to Mr Trump via Twitter, she said: “Not a second.” Kimmel replied: “I would love to have your password so in case he ever does this again I can take care of this, you know? But Winfrey remained careful not to explicitly criticize Trump, saying: “You don’t win by meeting any kind of negativity head-on”.
Winfrey interviewed seven individuals who voted for president Trump and seven who voted against in the interview which the president fiercely criticized. Her line of questioning sparked a heated debate between the ideologically opposed groups in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Winfrey, a Democrat and steadfast supporter of Hillary Clinton, has repeatedly insisted she harbours no ambitions to run for president in spite of rising calls for her to do so.
Winfrey’s capacity to significantly influence public opinion has been branded “The Oprah Effect”.
One estimate suggested that her endorsement of Barack Obama between 2006 and 2008 delivered over a million votes in the 2008 Democratic primary race.