White House

Trump on throngs of Sunday protesters: 'Why didn't these people vote?'

Jennifer Griffin reports from the National Mall

 

President Trump on Sunday expressed his unfiltered opinion of the Women’s March on Washington and other protests this weekend organized largely in opposition to his presidency, tweeting, “was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote?”

He also said in the tweet, “Celebs hurt cause badly.”

Trump, a Republican sworn-in Friday, didn’t mention names. However, singer Madonna has been criticized for saying Saturday during the women’s march that she considered “blowing up the White House” after Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The Secret Service declined to comment Sunday about reports the agency plans to investigate the comment as a threat.

Trump tweeted about 90 minutes later: "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."

The dueling tweets marked his administration's first response to the more than 1 million people who rallied at women's marches in Washington and cities around the world.

On “Fox News Sunday,” White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus responded to concerns that Trump would roll back women’s rights.

“President Trump wants to be president for all people, including every one of those marchers yesterday,” Priebus said. “And I think that over time, many of those people are going to be proud of this president.”

He also didn’t name Madonna but said, “Can you imagine saying that about President Obama?”

The suggestion that the Saturday rally in Washington appeared to attract more people than Trump's inauguration on Friday clearly irked the new president.

Trump spent his first full day in office berating the media over their coverage of his inauguration, using a bridge-building visit to CIA headquarters to air grievances about "dishonest" journalists and wildly overstating the size of the crowd that gathered on the National Mall as he took the oath of office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.