Rosie O’Donnell defends tweet suggesting Barron Trump might have autism

LOS ANGELES — Comedian Rosie O’Donnell said Saturday that she has no “ill will” toward the 10-year-old son of President-elect Donald Trump, after posting a tweet with a video speculating Barron Trump might have autism.

The video, originally posted by YouTube user James Hunter, is titled “Is Barron Trump Autistic? #StopTheBullying” and shows examples of Barron’s behavior at public events. It has been viewed more than 2.5 million times since it was posted Nov. 11.

The video shows Barron clapping at the Republican National Convention and points out “his hands are moving erratically and not touching each other.” The video also shows him “making strange movements in his seat, typical in children with autism.”

“One of the biggest signs of autism is a lack of social skills and understanding,” the video said. “When Barron came on stage at the RNC his anti-social behavior was on display.”

It goes on to show Barron standing blank-faced on stage as his parents and siblings smile and clap. Then it shows Barron shrugging off an affectionate squeeze from his father.

O’Donnell, 54, has been an outspoken critic of Trump for years, but said her post had nothing to do with their personal feud or her political beliefs.

O’Donnell revealed that her 3-year-old daughter, Dakota, has autism, and said she has become “immersed” in spotting symptoms since Dakota was diagnosed with the condition in September.

On Saturday, O’Donnell posted a message online with the title “what we see and why” with the hashtags #Autism #Focus and #TRUTH.

She wrote, in part:

“My 3.5 yr old daughter dakota was diagnosed in September with HFA – high functioning autism…

“When I saw the anti bullying video that mentioned Barron, it spoke to the symptoms many ASD kids have. It was educational and informational.

“These symptoms so many do not understand – i thought – how amazing… IF it is true – i tweeted from my heart. It would help so much with the autism epidemic.

“This autism subject had nothing to do with Donald though i admit he does trigger me in all ways.

“I have no ill will for his children or any children and if u knew anything about me u would know that (sic).”

In the post, O’Donnell went on to call Trump a “madman,” and continued to use her Twitter account to speak out against Trump’s policies and plans.