Oprah Winfrey is speaking out to clarify her post-election comments that brought some unexpected controversy her way last week.
Oprah was joining in with the rest of the nation to watch the first sit-down between President Obama and Donald Trump at the White House on the day after the election, when she used Twitter to express what she was feeling about the moment. Unfortunately, her message didn’t go over as well as she’d apparently hoped. The media mogul’s tweet about Obama’s White House meeting with Trump included a photo of the moment accompanied by the caption, “Everybody take a deep breath. #HopeLives!”
To Oprah’s surprise, her Twitter mentions were immediately flooded with messages from fans who criticized her choice of words, many of whom felt her tweet was an attempt to normalize Trump’s disgraceful behavior as a presidential nominee up until that point.
But the former talk show queen says not so fast.
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Oprah attended a screening of Ava DuVernay’s thought-provoking new documentary 13th over the weekend and made it a point to clarify what she really meant by the now-infamous tweet.
“I couldn’t breathe after the election,” she said to the screening audience. “I was expecting tension, awkwardness, and strain … so when I saw them sitting together, I actually took a picture of the screen that said ‘President-elect Trump honored to meet Obama.’ And President Obama was being so gracious, and I heard Donald Trump say, ‘He’s a good man.’ I heard Donald Trump say, ‘I’m going to be seeking his counsel.’ I literally went [deep breath], ‘I can breathe now.’”
In addition to elaborating on what she really meant by the tweet, Oprah also admitted that sending a message that seemingly instructed others how to feel about the moment between POTUS and Trump may have ultimately been where she went wrong.
“My mistake, and this is what I know to be true: You can never talk about everybody … Even in your arguments with your husband and your children,” she added. “Don’t talk about what you should do, what you ought to do — you can only speak for yourself. So what I should have said was, ‘I just took a breath.”
Hear Oprah’s response to the backlash in full below.