President Trump weighed in for the first time on the massive protests against his presidency that took place in Washington and around the globe, stating sarcastically on Twitter on Sunday morning that he was “under the impression that we just had an election!”
His tweet came in response to more than one million people gathering Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington and at other rallies in the United States and abroad, meant as a rejoinder to his inauguration the day before. Trump and his aides remained silent about the protests on Saturday.
“Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote?” Trump asked on Twitter.
“Celebs hurt cause badly,” he said.
The enormous event in Washington, which organizers said drew as many as half a million people, was packed with celebrities, including Madonna, Amy Schumer, America Ferrera and Ashley Judd.
Later Sunday morning, Trump sent a more conciliatory tweet:
“Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy,” he said. “Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”
In another tweet Sunday morning, Trump, who on Saturday accused the media of underreporting the crowd size at his swearing-in, boasted that the television ratings for his inauguration were higher than those for President Obama’s swearing-in four years ago.
“Wow, television ratings just out: 31 million people watched the Inauguration, 11 million more than the very good ratings from 4 years ago!” Trump wrote.
Nielsen reported Saturday that 30.6 million viewers watched inaugural coverage between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday. That figure is higher than Obama's second inauguration in 2013, which drew 20.6 million viewers.
But it's lower than that of Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, when 38 million viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen. The record is held by Ronald Reagan, when 42 million watched his inaugural festivities in 1981.