A new Washington Post-ABC News poll asked respondents about President-elect Trump's handling of his business interests and whether he should release his tax returns. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to try to discredit polls that show him about to enter office with historically low approval ratings, including one published Tuesday by The Washington Post.

“The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls,” Trump said on Twitter. “They are rigged just like before.”

In the Post-ABC poll, just 40 percent of Americans say they have a favorable impression of Trump, and 54 percent view him unfavorably — with 41 percent saying they have a strongly unfavorable impression of him.

That makes Trump, who takes the oath of office Friday, the least popular incoming president in at least four decades.

During the campaign, Trump routinely touted polls that showed him leading his Republican primary opponents. But once many general election surveys showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a solid lead, he started complaining that they were rigged.

Most polls in the days before the election continued to show Clinton leading nationally and in several key swing states. Clinton did win the popular vote, but Trump won surprise victories in several battlegrounds states and prevailed in the electoral college.

The final Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll before the election showed Clinton with a 4-point edge in national support, a statistically insignificant lead. Clinton won the national popular vote by 2 percentage points.

Polling manager Scott Clement contributed to this report.