While Clinton didn’t specifically mention O’Donnell, Trump did, apparently in an effort to suggest that what he said about her was his sole offense, and that it was justified.
“Rosie O’Donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her,” Trump responded.
O’Donnell’s rejoinder came later in the form of two very O’Donnellesque tweets.
The first simply said — in all caps, the Internet style that denotes screaming — “HE WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT.”
In the second, O’Donnell called Trump an “orange anus.”
And she issued a call to arms of sorts for others to “shame the donald.” The tweet included Hillary Clinton’s hashtag #ImWithHer.
It also included a link to a 5-minute clip from “The View,” which she co-hosted. According to O’Donnell, this clip is the origin of the bad blood between her and Trump.
The video, which aired in 2006, showed the women of “The View” discussing a news conference by Trump in which he announced that Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner could retain her crown after being criticized for publicly partying.
Trump was then the pageant’s owner.
O’Donnell offered a fairly vicious impression of Trump, mussing her hair into a ragged comb-over, letting her jaw go slack and deepening her voice.
“He annoys me on a multitude of levels,” O’Donnell said. “He’s the moral authority? Left the first wife, had an affair. Left the second wife, had an affair. Had kids both times, but he’s the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America.”
Added O’Donnell, “I don’t enjoy him.”
In the clip, she continued — discussing the money given to him by his father and Trump’s several bankruptcies.
“You know what saved him the second time [he declared bankruptcy]?” she asked. “After his father died, with that money, he paid off all his bankruptcy. This is not a self-made man.”
Added O’Donnell, “I don’t know. I just think this man is one of those snake oil salesmen in ‘Little House on the Prairie.'”
Since then, Trump has attacked O’Donnell mercilessly and without an end in sight — “I’ve known Rosie for a long time. I’ve always felt to myself like she’s a degenerate,” he once told David Letterman on “The Late Show.”
As an example, here are two illustrative tweets from Trump, one from 2011 and one from 2014.
Their feud entered the political sphere when Fox’s Megyn Kelly questioned his attitude toward women during this election cycle’s first GOP debate on Aug. 6, 2015.
“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals,'” Kelly said.
Much like on Monday, Trump interrupted Kelly by saying, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”
His comments during Monday’s debate toward O’Donnell caused uproar across the Internet.
Both celebrities and average viewers shared their opinions.
Some seemed angry at Trump.
Others seemed simply shocked that O’Donnell would be a topic of conversation during a presidential debate.