- Mario Tama/Getty
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday morning for some of his first comments on Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington and similar marches around the US.
“Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly,” tweeted the president.
An hour or so later, the president seemed to strike a less critical tone when discussing the protests: “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”
Trump also commented on the television viewership numbers for his inauguration: “Wow, television ratings just out: 31 million people watched the Inauguration, 11 million more than the very good ratings from 4 years ago!”
However, the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama was much more widely watched with nearly 38 million viewers.
The tweet echoes statements made by Trump’s White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, who used his first press briefing to berate journalists reporting on the underwhelming crowds at Trump’s Friday inauguration.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in-person and around the globe,” Spicer claimed without evidence, as photographs clearly show a significantly smaller turnout than in 2009. He accused certain reporters of intentionally trying to misrepresent the crowd as being small.
At a speech delivered to the CIA in front of a wall honoring CIA officers who have been killed in the line of duty on Saturday, Trump again defended his inauguration’s crowd size after promising to back the CIA “1,000%.”
“We had a massive field of people … Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field,” said Trump at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
This prompted ex-CIA Director John Brennan, who served under President Obama, to say that Trump “should be ashamed of himself ” for using the occasion to rage against the media, calling it a “despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes,” according to his former deputy chief of staff, Nick Shapiro.
But Trump’s Sunday morning tweet characterized the event differently: “Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people. WIN!”