A close friend of Oprah Winfrey's on Tuesday downplayed the idea that Winfrey would run for president in 2020, and said the rumor that she might run took flight after Stedman Graham, her longtime partner, misunderstood a question.

"Stedman says that he thought the reporter said to him, 'Would she make a good president,' and he said, 'Absolutely, she would,'" CBS host Gayle King said Tuesday morning. "That's how he interpreted the question because here's the thing, Stedman would never so cavalierly say, 'Absolutely, she would do it. It's up to the people.'"

"I got emails from people yesterday that said, 'Is Stedman being strategic or is he being supportive?'" King continued. "He is nothing but supportive. He would never just throw it out there like that."

"She did say, 'It's up to the people.' But I'm telling you his interpretation of the question was — he thought the reporter was saying would she be a good president," King insisted.

"I absolutely don't think that her position has changed," King added. "I do think she's intrigued by the idea. I also know that after years of watching the 'Oprah' show, you always have a right to change your mind. I don't think at this point she's actually considering it ... She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way."

King said the now-famous speech Winfrey delivered at Sunday's Golden Globes was six minutes, but show officials had asked her to cut it to three minutes. Winfrey refused to make the change.

"As it turned out with all the applause, it went nine minutes. I think the producers thought that was worth going late for," King said. "People said oh yeah, she wrote that speech as a launching pad for what she wants to do. That's absolutely not true."