202

White House responds to heavy turnout for women’s marches

Image was created as an Equirectangular Panorama. Import image into a panoramic player to create an interactive 360 degree view) Protesters march during the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. Large crowds are attending the anti-Trump rally a day after U.S. President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The White House responded Sunday morning to the heavy turnout for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.

A Trump administration official told NBC News:

“It’s a shame that the March for Life, which estimates the same number of marchers in DC (650,000 in 2013) and will be happening next Friday, will not get anywhere near the same amount of coverage that this march got — and those pro-life members were NOT welcome at the Women’s March. The organizers noted that their platform is pro-choice and they revoked partnership status from pro-life groups.

 “Madonna, who was one of the celebrities headlining the march, was quoted saying ‘Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House’ — comments like these are absolutely unacceptable and had they been said about President Obama, the mainstream media would be in an uproar.

“The Trump administration welcomes a robust discussion regarding the critical issues facing America’s women and families.”

(The White House statement omitted the rest of Madonna’s comment, which continued: “But I know that this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair.”)

Via his personal Twitter feed, President Trump wrote Sunday morning: “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”

Roughly an hour later, he tweeted a more conciliatory note about the march, as well as the several related marches around the world that were held Saturday: “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 statements follow a tense press briefing Saturday in which new press secretary Sean Spicer accused news organizations of inaccurately comparing inaugural crowd sizes. The president himself offered similar criticism during remarks to the CIA.

An estimated half-million filled the National Mall on Saturday, according to D.C. officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.