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President Donald Trump says it would be “fun” to run against former chat show doyenne Oprah Winfrey, amid calls for her to launch a White House bid.
“Yeah, I’ll beat Oprah,” Mr Trump told reporters during a meeting to discuss immigration reform with US senators.
His daughter Ivanka Trump joined a wave of praise for the media mogul’s speech at Sunday’s Golden Globe awards.
A Winfrey confidante says the actress is “intrigued” by the possibility of declaring a 2020 presidential campaign.
Her impassioned speech about the importance of tackling inequality drew plaudits from coast to coast.
Mr Trump said during his meeting on Tuesday that campaigning against Ms Winfrey would be “a lot of fun”.
He added: “I did one of her last shows. Her last week. She had Donald Trump and my family.”
“I like Oprah but I don’t think she’s going to run. I don’t think she’s going to run. I knew her very well,” he added.
Two decades ago on CNN, Mr Trump said that if he was to ever run for president, he would choose Ms Winfrey as his running mate.
“Oprah. I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice,” he told interviewer Larry King in 1999.
“If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic. I mean, she’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman.”
In 2015 – less than one week after announcing his candidacy – Mr Trump again suggested that Ms Winfrey would be his top pick for vice-president.
“I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah,” he said, adding “I think we’d win easily, actually.”