Rosie O’Donnell recently caused a massive Twitter controversy by speculating that Donald and Melania Trump’s son, Barron Trump, may have autism, and she’s not backing down. The former talk show host wants her critics to know that one of her children is autistic, and this is why she decided to tweet a link to anti-bullying video proclaiming to show “evidence” that 10-year-old Barron is on the autism spectrum.
The video Rosie O’Donnell shared with her Twitter followers was titled “Is Barron Trump Autistic? #StopTheBullying,” and it was created by a YouTube user named James Hunter. Barron Trump has attended a few of his father’s presidential campaign events, and Hunter used TV footage from these events to back his claim that the boy is autistic. The “evidence” he points to includes footage of Barron clapping “erratically” and “making strange movements in his seat.” The video ends with a call for social media users to stop bullying Barron Trump.
“Barron Trump Autistic?” read O’Donnell’s tweet that included a link to the YouTube video. “If so — what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.”
As Us Weekly reports, many of Rosie O’Donnell’s Twitter followers don’t think her tweet was amazing at all — they think it’s wrong for the comedienne to speculate about something so personal, especially since the person she’s speculating about is just a child. The Wrap collected a few of the numerous critical responses to O’Donnell’s tweet. She was called “cruel,” “foul,” and “shameful” for sharing the video, and she was slammed for spreading rumors about a child and violating Barron Trump’s privacy.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Rosie O’Donnell previously tried to silence her critics by making it clear that she did not create the video — she simply decided to tweet it because “it resonated” with her. However, her tweet has continued to cause outrage, so she recently decided to issue a lengthy response to the backlash. In a post on her website, O’Donnell explains why the video spoke to her.
“Here is how it went down – my 3.5 yr old daughter Dakota was diagnosed in September with HFA – high functioning autism,” Rosie wrote.
“I have been immersed in that world/reality since learning – reading – asking questions it’s all autism – all the time for the newly diagnosed.”
According to Rosie, parents of children with autism “grab onto anything to keep us standing,” and it can help simply knowing that there are others out there dealing with the same challenges. She stands by her belief that the Barron Trump autism video is “educational and informational,” and she still thinks that it would be “amazing IF” Barron has autism.
Rosie O’Donnell also stands by her decision to label autism an “epidemic,” even though some of her Twitter followers took issue with the negative connotation of the word.
“1 in 55 kids is an epidemic,” Rosie wrote. “Donald and I agree on that and not much else.”
As MSNBC reports, Donald Trump described autism as an “epidemic” during last September’s Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The president-elect also expressed his belief that vaccines cause autism. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clearly states on its website that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.”
Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell have been feuding for years, and Trump brought up their bad blood during the first presidential debate. Hillary Clinton called him out for making sexist comments about women, and Trump owned up to calling O’Donnell a “pig” and a “slob.” However, he also claimed that “everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.”
Rosie O’Donnell has tried to make it clear that she’s not commenting on Barron Trump’s mental state to get under Donald Trump’s skin, and she’s even tweeted that she thinks that Barron is “truly angelic.” However, she couldn’t resist taking a dig at her longtime nemesis in her response to the autism video backlash.
“Peace out as we try to save democracy from this madman who thinks OUR country is his,” Rosie O’Donnell wrote in closing.
[Featured Image by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]