Rosie O’Donnell has urged first lady Melania to divorce President Trump and flee with her 10-year-old son, Barron Trump. O’Donnell gave the advice after Melania Trump tweeted a motivational message on her @Flotus Twitter account at 6:06 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
“I urge you to not be afraid to fail, as failure will never have the power to define you, as long as you learn from it,” Melania tweeted on her @FLOTUS account on Wednesday.
Comedienne O’Donnell responded to the quote about half an hour later, advising the first lady to divorce her husband, the president, and flee, as if from danger, with her son.
“Which is why you need to divorce him. Take your son and parents and flee,” O’Donnell tweeted.
Many Twitter users responded to Rosie’s tweet, expressing disapproval. One Twitter user accused her of “having so much anger and hate.”
“Rosie your heart is filled with so much anger and hate it seems. Prayer is more powerful! Love Conquers all!”
But others only added sarcastic and snarky comments of their own.
@FLOTUS thank you for tweeting. I had forgotten to unfollow this account after the Obamas left DC. I can now correct this error.
— Andre_Coleman (@andre_coleman) March 29, 2017
The latest incident involving O’Donnell tweeting in connection with Melania Trump comes after she retweeted a YouTube video last November that speculated, based on footage from Trump’s election victory speech, that Trump’s youngest son, 10-year-old Barron Trump, might have autism, a condition associated with mental, social, and emotional developmental issues.
O’Donnell retweeted the video, adding her own observations about Barron’s behavior which she thought were consistent with the suggestion that the boy had autism.
“Barron Trump Autistic? if so – what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic https://t.co/Acgy1Qxyqi via @YouTube
— Rosie (@Rosie) November 22, 2016”
RETWEET IF YOU SUPPORT @Rosie IN A RUN FOR VA LT GOVERNOR RACE
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) March 30, 2017
The November 21 tweet by the former The View host sparked speculation online, with many Twitter users elaborating further on what they thought were signs that Barron Trump had autism. The video showed Barron, yawning and then clapping mechanically, looking bored.
But others criticized O’Donnell and described her tweet as offensive. They argued that there was no evidence from Barron’s behavior in the video that he had autism. Many thought that his yawning and bored expression were due to the fact that he was extremely fatigued after being forced to stay up until 3:00 a.m. to attend his father’s election victory speech.
But despite the barrage of criticism that followed her tweet, O’Donnell continued to defend her views.
“I didn’t make the video, I watched it, and I found it compelling,” she shot back at critics. “Not my movie clip. Lots of us, who raise autistic children, notice things many would miss. Some things felt familiar.”
But it turned out, as many suspected, that young Barron Trump does not suffer from Autism. His mother, Melania, threatened a lawsuit against the uploader of the YouTube video and forced him to take down the video.
O’Donnell later offered a public apology for the tweet, saying she was “sorry for the pain” that the tweet caused Melania.
“I apologize to @MELANIATRUMP – I was insensitive in my RT – I am sorry for the pain i caused — it was not my intent – I am truly sorry,” she tweeted.
O’Donnell explained that she tweeted the video to draw attention to and raise awareness about the condition of autism. She said the tweet was not meant as an attack against Trump and his wife. Rather, her concern about the condition stemmed from her experience after she learned the previous September that her three-year-old daughter, Dakota, has autism.
“My 3.5 yr old daughter Dakota was diagnosed in September with HFA – high functioning autism,” O’Donnell explained. “When I saw the anti-bullying video that mentioned Barron, it spoke to the symptoms many ASD kids have. It was educational and informational.”
“This autism subject had nothing to do with Donald though I admit he does trigger me in all ways,” she continued. “I have no ill will for his children or any children and if you knew anything about me you would know that.”
Rosie O’Donnell has a famous, long-running feud with Donald Trump. The rivalry between the two dates back to 2006, years before Trump ran for president and won. It began after O’Donnell criticized Trump’s decision not to fire Tara Conner, then Miss USA, over allegations of drug abuse. Trump responded by calling the former The Viewhost a “loser.”
Later in 2011, after O’Donnell announced her engagement, Trump responded sarcastically.
“I feel sorry for Rosie ‘s new partner in love whose parents are devastated at the thought of their daughter being with @Rosie–a true loser.”
When Rosie suffered a heart attack in August 2102, Trump tweeted, saying he hoped she would get better.
“Well thank you Donald – I must admit your post was a bit of a shock — Are you trying to kill me?”
The feud flared up again in 2014 when it was revealed that O’Donnell was returning to The View.
“Rosie is crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb – other than that I like her very much!”