Trump’s tweet, praising a rousing speech that spurred calls of Winfrey running against President Trump in 2020, caught many people by surprise.
In her speech, Winfrey spoke out forcefully about the value of the news media at a time when the president has been critical of reporters. She thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, sponsor of the Golden Globes, “because we all know the press is under siege these days.”
“I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times,” she said.
Several people close to Winfrey said she has been following the news coverage and appreciated the groundswell of support. Richard Sher, a friend and former broadcasting partner in Baltimore, told The Washington Post: “If she set out to do it, she’d win. But at this point it’s other people, not her, that’s talking about it.”
Winfrey’s speech focused largely on the moment of reckoning facing the nation amid an outpouring of personal stories of abuse in the workplace.
“I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories,” Winfrey said. “Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace.”
Ivanka Trump faced some backlash on social media for her tweet, particularly in light of the slew of sexual misconduct allegations against her father. More than a dozen accusers came forward during the 2016 presidential campaign accusing Donald Trump of sexual improprieties, which he has denied.
Michael Wolff, the author of the newly released critical book about the Trump administration, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” responded to Ivanka Trump’s tweet on MSNBC.
“Who does she think her father is?” Wolff said. “What does she think this White House is about? Why does she think her father was in fact elected? She doesn’t get this in some phenomenal way, head in the clouds, just denial.”
The reaction was swift among celebrities and others, too.
But some on Twitter pushed back against the criticism.
Trump’s tweet was viewed as ironic to many and prompted renewed criticism that she is “complicit” in her father’s actions. The adjective became nearly synonymous with the president’s daughter among her critics after a “Saturday Night Live” sketch last year about a fake fragrance made by her called “Complicit.”
“Complicit — the fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but won’t,” a narrator said in the sketch.