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In spite of his predecessor and the former First Lady being allowed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show multiple times, President Donald Trump is simply not to turn up for an interview. This perhaps unsurprising bit of news surfaced as veteran Today interviewer Matt Lauer sat down with Ellen DeGeneres to talk about the 20th anniversary of her very public coming out, their upcoming 60th birthdays and their prank war.
“We need to look at someone else who looks different than us and believes in something that we don’t believe in and still accept them and still let them have their rights,” she said of the reasons why she won't have the current president sitting in the interview chair.
Her declaration is a definite departure from her views involving the Obama administration; both President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama were regulars on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She has also had President George W. Bush on the show. In the possibilities of having President Trump on the show, however, DeGeneres was clear - he would not be sitting in the interview chair anytime soon.
“Because I’m not going to change his mind,” DeGeneres told Lauer. “He’s against everything that I stand for."
It was certainly the most openly political that DeGeneres had ever gotten, save for her comments about Trump's attempted travel ban. She noted at the time that Trump had just announced the travel ban against Muslims from seven countries, and then hosted a screening of Finding Dory the next day.
"I don’t get political, but I will say that I am against one of those two things,” she said at the time to much applause.
Lauer also noted that DeGeneres was celebrating a huge anniversary; it was the 20th anniversary of the episode in which Ellen came out publicly, both on television and in real life. It was one of those moments that caused a huge swell of emotion on either side of whether DeGeneres should have come out in the first place, but it's a moment in which DeGeneres now says she wished she had come out far sooner than she did. She noted that apart from death threats that she had received, she really found a lot of positives from the experience, whether it was from people saying she had inspired them to come out and live their own truth or from the fact that she learned she could start over.
"It taught me compassion," she noted. "It taught me that I really was strong enough to start all over again."
Finally, Lauer brought up their upcoming 60th birthdays, as well as their prank wars, with Lauer even admitting during the start of his preceding interview with DeGeneres, where she was the one interviewing him, he was "nervous."
When he asked what she thought she might be doing at her 70th birthday, she said she was unsure if she'd still be doing her still-hugely successful talk show, as "she might break a hip or something." Not to be outdone during her prank war with Lauer, though, she ensured that the veteran interviewer's heart got a bit of a workout. While talking about his and co-host Savannah Guthrie's different tastes in music, it became clear - in retrospect, at least - that DeGeneres was simply biding her time, waiting for the right moment to "get" Lauer.
A stagehand had been hiding in the corner table that sits between DeGeneres and whomever she interviews, and as soon as DeGeneres said, "It seems to me..." the stage hand, wearing a blonde wig and a floral print dress to look like Savannah Guthrie, leapt out of the table and bellowed at Lauer, who promptly jumped up and told Ellen, who was doubled over laughing, that his suit was now wet.
“It’s so petty!" Lauer exclaimed. "It’s so childish! You promised! Now I wet my suit — it’s the only suit I have, and I’m wearing your underwear in this suit!”
There are another couple of anniversaries that DeGeneres will be celebrating this year; her eponymous talk show will have been on for 14 years this September, and she will have been married to her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, for nine years as of August 16.