Oprah Winfrey’s close friend Gayle King says the billionaire television icon is not actively considering a presidential bid but hasn’t ruled one out.
“I don’t think she’s actively considering it at this time,” King, co-host of “CBS This Morning,” said on the morning show Tuesday. “I do think she’s intrigued by the idea, I do think that. I also know that after years of watching the Oprah show you also always have the right to change your mind.”
But King dismissed the idea that Winfrey had intended to use the speech as a precursor to a future political campaign.
“People said, ‘Oh yeah, she wrote that speech as a launching pad for what she wants to do.’ That’s absolutely not true,” King said.
King said that Winfrey wanted to empower the so-called #MeToo movement in the fight against sexual harassment and inequality.
“She wanted that moment to be more than women wearing black dresses of solidarity,” King explained. “She really did want to speak to young girls around the country. She really did want to say, ‘Enough already.’”
During the awards show, Winfrey’s longtime partner, Stedman Graham, was asked by a Los Angeles Times reporter if she would run for president.
“It’s up to the people. She would absolutely do it,” Graham said.
King, who was seated next to Winfrey at the awards show, said that he misheard the question.
“Stedman says that he thought the reporter asked, ‘Would she make a good president?’” King said.
On Air Force One Monday afternoon, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley was asked what the administration thought about Winfrey’s speech.
“Regardless of who’s on the ballot, regardless who decides to run against this president, they are going to have to face a president who has record-setting achievements in record-setting time,” Gidley said, “whether it’s an economy that is booming, job creation, historic tax cuts and tax reform when that hadn’t been touched in 30 years, an increase in wages, an absolute decimation of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”
He added: “We welcome the challenge, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else.”
Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, raised a few eyebrows with a tweet Monday night praising Winfrey.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 9, 2018
At the White House on Tuesday, President Trump was asked about the possibility of running against her.
“I’d beat Oprah. Oprah would be a lot of fun,” Trump said, adding: “I like Oprah. I don’t think she’s going to run.”
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