The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump takes to Twitter to weigh in on Women’s March, TV ratings for inauguration

Then-President-elect Donald Trump attends and speaks at the Chairman's Global Dinner in Washington on Tuesday (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

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.

Photos from the scene of the Women’s March on Washington

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: With Capitol Hill in the background a crowd fills the streets on Washington, during the Women's March on January 21, 2017. (Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post)

Trump wages war against the media as demonstrators protest his presidency

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.

Hundreds of thousands of activists descended on downtown Washington for a rally and march, the day after President Donald Trump took office. (Video: Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post, Photo: Oliver Contreras/The Washington Post)

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.”

A divided nation meets: Scenes from inauguration weekend

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.

Trump questions media reports of inauguration crowd size (Video: The Washington Post)
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