Trump widens war with O'Donnell, calls Walters a liar

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NEW YORK -- A reported backstage confrontation, Donald Trump calling Barbara Walters a liar -- the developer's feud with Rosie O'Donnell is a gift that keeps on giving for gossip columnists.

And it can't get any tougher for the broadcast legend caught in the middle.

Trump sent a letter to O'Donnell on Tuesday, distributed by the TV show "The Insider," saying Walters told him in a private conversation that working with O'Donnell is "like living in hell."

Trump said Walters called him while on vacation trying to end the feud by apologizing for O'Donnell's behavior. She supposedly told him "Donald, never get in the mud with pigs" and "don't worry, she won't be here for long," according to the letter.

He also said he ran into Walters at Le Cirque two months ago and asked how O'Donnell was doing, and Walters said, "Donald, do you have to ruin my meal?"

On her daytime chat show last week, Walters said she had never told Trump she didn't want O'Donnell on the show, as he has claimed. "Nothing could be further from the truth," she said.

Walters, he said in the letter to O'Donnell on Tuesday, "lied to both of us."

The New York Post gossip column Page Six claimed that O'Donnell angrily confronted Walters backstage at "The View" on Monday. She called Walters a liar, too, adding an expletive, the newspaper said. O'Donnell was reportedly angry that Walters didn't call Trump a liar. The newspaper sourced its story about the confrontation by saying "according to spies."

Besides keeping "The View" constantly in the news, O'Donnell has substantially increased the show's ratings this season. Trump appeared to get no lift from the feud in the ratings when the latest season of "The Apprentice" started Sunday. The program's ratings fell short of those from last spring's season premiere.

Does anyone remember how this feud began? Oh, yes: when O'Donnell said Trump had no right "to be the moral compass for 20-year-olds" as he decided whether Miss USA would keep her crown. He owns the pageant.

Another woman caught in the middle -- spokeswoman Cindi Berger, who represents both Walters and O'Donnell -- said neither had any comment but cryptically suggested viewers tune in to "The View" on Wednesday.

"It will be a great show," she said.
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