So began the morning of what could be a pivotal day in which Trump would receive a highly anticipated briefing on the subject of Russian intervention into the U.S. election, a subject that has vexed politicians on both sides of the aisle and pertains to sensitive national security issues. That issue, which had been the subject of tweets calling into question the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies earlier in the week, went unmentioned on Friday morning.
The report is expected to provide evidence backing the belief of intelligence officials that Russia intended to interfere with the election by hacking the Democratic Party and its officials. Trump has said that he does not believe there is proof that Russia was responsible for the hacks.
Instead, Trump took to social media to respond to a series of news reports published in recent days.
On the issue of the border wall, Trump attacked the media, but confirmed reports that, at least initially, U.S. taxpayers would pay the cost of installing a “Great Wall” he promised to voters during the election. It remains an open question how Mexico would be forced to later refund the United States.
Subsequent tweets continued Trump's recent practice of re-litigating his victory over Clinton in an effort to respond to suggestions that his inauguration was unable to draw sufficient star power.
On Thursday, Trump claimed that 16-year-old pop-opera singer Jackie Evancho had seen a bump in album sales after being chosen to sing the national anthem at his inauguration. Other stories in recent days have focused on hesitation among certain groups about performing at the event, including within the ranks of the Radio City Rockettes and among alumni of Talladega College, a historically black school that has agreed to allow its marching band to perform.
The inauguration ceremony wasn't the only show on Trump's mind. While he remains named as an executive producer on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Trump was eager to boast that the show was underperforming the ratings bar he set as host.
He criticized the show's new host, Schwarzenegger — who refused to support Trump in the election — for backing Clinton and another Trump rival, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican.
The tweets come after several news sites, including conservative site Breitbart News, ran stories pointing out that ratings for the show's first episode of the season on Monday night fell compared to Trump's last year as host.
In addition to the political grievances, a person close to Trump said that he had initially hoped that his daughter Ivanka would be chosen to host the show and was disappointed that Schwarzenegger was chosen instead.
Karen Tumulty contributed to this report.