Barbara Walters: I Don't Regret Hiring Rosie

Donald Trump retorts: "That is not what she told me" about O'Donnell

Barbara Walters, star and executive producer of The View, did some cleaning up Wednesday in the wake of Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump’s pre-Christmas war of words that began when O’Donnell criticized Trump on the show over his dealing with the behavior of Miss USA Tara Conner.

“Rosie’s on a long, planned vacation with Kelli (Carpenter, her wife) and the kids, and not, I can promise you, with Donald Trump,” Walters said on the program.

In response to claims made by O’Donnell about Trump’s finances, Walters also read a statement prepared by ABC. “Just to clarify things, and I quote: Donald Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy. Several of his casino companies have filed for business bankruptcies. They are out of bankruptcy now. That’s the end of the quote.”

Trump responded Wednesday afternoon telling Inside Edition in a phone interview: “They were afraid they were going to be sued, they know it was the truth and I respect ABC for doing that.”

Walters also went on to say directly into the TV camera: “But while I am clearing things up, Donald Trump also said that I am not happy with my decision to bring Rosie O’Donnell to this table. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have never regretted, nor do I now, the hiring of Rosie O’Donnell.”

Trump, however, is holding firm on his assertion that Walters said she regrets hiring O’Donnell.

“As Barbara well knows, that is not what she told me,” he told Inside Edition. “However, I fully understand why Barbara has to say that, she has no other choice. What is she going to say, ‘I told Donald Trump some negative things about Rosie?'”

On The View Walters also lauded O’Donnell, saying, “She has brought a new vitality to the show, and the ratings prove it.” She also cited praise O’Donnell has received from critics in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and USA Today.

“Next Monday,” Walters said, bringing the topic to a close, “we will all welcome her back with open arms, yes?” And with that, the studio audience and the other women at the desk burst into prolonged applause.

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