President Donald Trump makes a lot of false claims on issues that are crucial to Americans’ lives: the coronavirus pandemic, the election, health care, the economy.
But Trump also makes a lot of false claims about trivial subjects nobody much cares about. One of the very strangest is about “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
For at least seven years, Trump has been claiming that he was so important to Oprah that she had him on her popular daytime talk show in its final week. He did it again in an interview released on Wednesday, the eve of a presidential debate.
Jason Whitlock, a sports writer and personality with the website Outkick, asked Trump what changed his relationship with Black celebrities. Trump noted that he used to be name-dropped in many rap songs, then said, “I had a lot of good relationships. Even Oprah. Her last couple of shows. You know, it was a big deal, who was gonna be her last week; I guess her last week. I was on her show for the last week. In other words, the entire show was devoted to – I think five different people. I was one of the five. Oprah liked me. And maybe still does, I don’t know. But Oprah is great.”
Facts First: This is false. Trump did not appear on the final week of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which ended on May 25, 2011. He was a guest on the February 7, 2011 show, three-and-a-half months before the final episode.
President Barack Obama, to whom Trump frequently compares himself, was on the show with first lady Michelle Obama in its final month.
Wednesday was at least the fourth time as president that Trump has inaccurately boasted that he was on Oprah’s last week At a 2018 campaign rally in Georgia, days after Winfrey visited the state to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Trump claimed he was on the show the last week because he was one of Oprah’s “five most important people.” He then added, “I think they’re trying to burn the tape. Are they trying to burn the tape?”
Trump has been making the claim since at least 2013. “Final week of @Oprah’s show- @Oprah is terrific,” he wrote in his 2013 Instagram caption of a photo that, as entertainment publication Variety noted in 2018, actually showed his family posing with Winfrey for the episode three-and-a-half months before the show ended.
The actual last week of the show featured a star-studded arena tribute to Oprah – which included Michael Jordan, Will Smith, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Beyoncé, Jerry Seinfeld and other A-listers, but not Trump – and appearances by memorable non-entertainer guests from past episodes, like Clemantine Wamariya, a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda, and Jacqui Saburido, an activist against drunk driving. The final episode starred Winfrey alone.
Trump’s false claim in the Whitlock interview was actually his second Oprah-related false claim this week alone. At a Michigan rally on Saturday, he said Winfrey traveled to Michigan for a Hillary Clinton rally on the last day of the 2016 election.
Winfrey did not do that, as we pointed out on Monday.