President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he could beat Oprah Winfrey if she runs for president.
"Yeah, I'll beat Oprah," he said in response to a White House pool reporter asking if he thought he would win a race against her.
“Oprah will be lots of fun," Trump said. “I did one of her last shows. I like Oprah.”
“I don’t think she’s going to run,” he added.
Trump, along with his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, and sons Eric and Donald Jr., were guests on an episode of Winfrey's show in its final season in 2011.
Speculation that Winfrey could run for president in 2020 was sparked by her epic speech at Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony.
Her close friend, CBS This Morning host Gayle King, fueled the discussion on Tuesday, saying she thought Winfrey was "intrigued by the idea."
"I don't think at this point she's actually considering it," King added.
In response to a question during Tuesday's press briefing about Winfrey's potential presidential campaign, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, "Look, I disagree very much on her policies. Is she a successful individual? Absolutely. But in terms of where she stands on a number of positions, I would find a lot of problems with that."
Asked if she has any advice for an outsider to the political establishment who might be considering a run, she said, "I'm not going to focus on anyone's campaign other than President Trump's re-election. I'm sure if she decides to run, which I think the president states he doesn't feel she will, I'm sure she will have help with that."
Winfrey made her speech while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award — the first black woman to receive the honor.
"I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!" she told the crowd to a standing ovation. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me too' again!"
As for whether she is actually considering running for president, her answer to that question over the years has pretty consistently and clearly been that she's not — but on Sunday, asked directly by the L.A. Times, she was a little more circumspect:
But about that 2020 ticket ...
Will Oprah consider a run for POTUS? She paused, cracking a sly smile. “Okaay!”
Here's the full speech:
Trump's comments on Tuesday came after a long debate with Democratic and Republican legislators over immigration issues. He was also asked by reporters if he would consider a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals deal that did not include provisions for the building of a wall between the US-Mexico border.
“You need it. I’d love not to build the wall, but you need the wall,” Trump said, while negotiations in Congress about the DACA program continue as it comes to an end in March.
He said that building the wall didn’t imply the need for 2,000 miles or seven years of construction, as was estimated.
Nidhi Prakash is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York
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