All Rights reserved
Comedian Rosie O'Donnell came out about her 3-year-old daughter's autism diagnosis in response to criticism of a recent tweet she posted speculating about whether Barron Trump, the youngest son of the president-elect, is autistic.
On November 22, O'Donnell, who has been in a decade-long public feud with Donald Trump, posted a video on Twitter claiming that Barron is on the spectrum. The video, which was created by James Hunter, has been viewed over 3 million times. The clip points to erratic movements and antisocial behavior as indicators of his diagnosis, but lacks any evidence to back up the allegations.
"Barron Trump Autistic?" O'Donnell wrote after watching the video. "If so -- what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic."
That tweet has since been deleted.
After the out actress and former talk show host drew attention to the video, Melania Trump threatened a lawsuit against its makers, as TMZreports. The future first lady has reportedly retained legal counsel but does not plan to take action against O'Donnell herself.
O'Donnell has nonetheless faced heavy criticism for the tweet, particularly from Trump's supporters.
O'Donnell, however, said she harbors no "ill will" toward Trump's children in a newpost on her personal website Saturday. She said she merely wanted to raise awareness about an issue that affects her family and found the video to be very "educational and informational."
Her daughter Dakota was diagnosed with high-functioning autism in September, O'Donnell said. Since then, O'Donnell has been "immersed in that world," "learning, reading, [and] asking questions," she wrote.
"It's all autism," she added, "all the time."
O'Donnell said she "tweeted from the heart." She felt that the seven-minute clip "spoke to the symptoms many ASD kids have" and argued that getting that information to the public, many of whom remain misinformed about the disability, "would help so much with the autism epidemic."
"1 in 55 kids is an epidemic," O'Donnell wrote. "Donald and I agree on that -- and not much else."
The comic, who previously described Barron as "truly angelic" in an apologetic tweet, added that her support for Trump's children does not extend to the president-elect, who she called a "clear and present danger." O'Donnell said Donald Trump is a "madman, who thinks OUR country is his."
The Trump family has yet to publicly respond to the lesbian celebrity's post.