White House press secretary Sean Spicer downplayed on Monday the massive women’s rights marches that took place Saturday in Washington, D.C. and across the United States, saying that protestors were actually “not against anything,” let alone Donald Trump.
“What is the President’s message to the millions of people here in Washington and around the country who were protesting on Saturday?” a reporter asked at Spicer’s first formal briefing.
“I think he has a healthy respect for the First Amendment and this is what makes our country so beautiful, is that on one day you can inaugurate a President, on the next day people can occupy the same space to protest something,” Spicer said. “But he’s also cognizant to the fact that a lot of these people were there to protest an issue of concern to them and not against anything.”
Thousands of marchers attended protests on Saturday along the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as well as in hundreds of other cities across the United States and around the world. The ubiquitous symbol of the women’s marches, the “pussyhat,” directly referenced the infamous “grab ’em by the pussy” remark the President made on the hot mic “Access Hollywood” tape. Many marchers also carried anti-Trump signs.
Spicer also attempted to downplay the event by suggesting that the historically attended Women’s March on Washington was routine.
“There were people that came to the mall, as they do all the time,” he added. “Sometimes in smaller numbers.”
An official estimate from D.C. Metro authority showed that the transit system had its second-busiest day ever on the day of the Women’s March on Washington, far surpassing its ridership on the day of Trump’s inauguration.