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Donald Trump called Roseanne Barr to praise the success of her show.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, confirmed the call Wednesday to The New York Times. A separate source said the president was over the moon about the "huge" ratings received by Roseanne. The ABC sitcom drew a whopping 18.2 million viewers during its Tuesday premiere.
Barr, a vocal Trump supporter, elaborated on the exchange Thursday to Good Morning America. "It was pretty exciting, I'll tell you that much," said the 65-year-old actress. "They said, 'Hold, please, for the president of the United States of America,' and that was about the most exciting thing ever, and it was very sweet of him to congratulate us."
Barr characterized the chat as "friendly," but would not divulge details.
"We just kind of had a private conversation, but we talked about a lot of things," Barr said. "He's just happy for me. I've known him for many years, and he's done a lot of nice things for me over the years. It was just a friendly conversation about work and television and ratings."
\u201c"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all." \n\n@RoseanneOnABC sets record ratings as the Conners come roaring back to primetime, and we speak LIVE to @therealroseanne about her phone call with the President and the return of the show:\u201d— Good Morning America (@Good Morning America) 1522323732
The president's son Donald Trump Jr. did post his congratulations on Twitter.
\u201cWow amazing. Congrats @therealroseanne. If you\u2019re not too busy already maybe work in a late night show too... seems there\u2019s some demand for an alternate viewpoint. #Rosanne https://t.co/JNaLjxS0fs\u201d— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.) 1522259379
The return of Roseanne has sparked mixed reactions among fans due to Barr's support of the president. Many queer people in particular were conflicted about the show after the actress defended Trump's record on LGBT issues in a recent Times interview. "He doesn't oppose same-sex marriage," she said, pushing back on the interviewer. "He has said it several times, you know, that he's not homophobic at all," she added.
For the record, the Trump administration has actively worked to undermine the rights and protections of LGBT people, with actions such as its ban on transgender people in the military. The president has never voiced support of same-sex marriage.
News of the call rattled many liberals, who perceived the act as yet another example of the president's obsession with popularity over more serious issues.
\u201cNext time Donald Trump doesn't have the time to call a family of a dead US servicemen killed in action, remember that he has the time to call Roseanne Barr to congratulate her on 'ratings'\u201d— Roland Scahill (@Roland Scahill) 1522318268
\u201cTrump called Roseanne Barr to congratulate her on her ratings.\n\nThis is the same guy who wouldn't even call Rex Tillerson to tell him he was fired.\u201d— Nick Jack Pappas (@Nick Jack Pappas) 1522324281
\u201cOne small step forward for Roseanne Barr was one huge leap backwards for Women\n\nRoseanne premiered as the new FEMALE 'ARCHIE BUNKER' last night and Trump even called to congratulate her\n\nIf you wondered what type of Women voted for Trump, look to Roseanne & Sarah Huckabee Sanders\u201d— Alison Greene (@Alison Greene) 1522323069