Donald Trump sends mixed messages on #NotMyPresident protests

  • 12/11/2016
Anti-Trump demonstrators have voiced concerns at his presidency (Getty)
Anti-Trump demonstrators have voiced concerns at his presidency (Getty)

US President-elect Donald Trump first denounced Americans protesting against his election, but is now praising them, underscoring contradictions that have raised questions about his leadership style.

"Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!" Trump tweeted early on Friday.

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It was a sharp shift in tone from his tweet hours earlier dismissing the demonstrators in eight cities as "professional protesters, incited by the media".

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The contradictory tweets are further evidence of Mr Trump's mixed messages since he announced his candidacy 17 months ago.

After Ms Clinton conceded defeat early on Wednesday, he took a far more conciliatory tone than he had often displayed during his campaign and promised to be a president for all Americans.

Anti-Trump demonstrators have voiced concerns about his presidency, due to start on January 20, citing his campaign promises to restrict immigration and register Muslims, as well as allegations the Republican, a former reality TV star, sexually abused women.

In various cities, marchers chanted slogans including, "No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!" and carried signs reading, "Impeach Trump".

White supremacist groups including the Ku Klux Klan have praised Mr Trump's election and some civil rights advocacy groups have reported a spike of attacks on minorities following Mr Trump's Tuesday victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump has rejected the KKK's support.

One measure of young Americans' feeling for Mr Trump: A poll by the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion prior to the election showed that some 66 percent of young US adults aged 18 to 35 thought Trump should have dropped out of the race following the October release of a 2005 video in which he was seen talking about groping women.

With the country evenly divided, many voters were shocked by the result given that opinion polls failed to predict Mr Trump's triumph.

More anti-Trump demonstrations are planned for the weekend in cities including New York and Los Angeles, and a group calling itself "#NotMyPresident" scheduled an anti-Trump rally for Washington on Inauguration Day.

Thursday's gatherings were generally smaller in scale and less intense than Wednesday's, and teenagers and young adults again dominated the racially mixed crowds.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Friday acknowledged the tight race with Ms Clinton, but said anti-Trump protesters had to accept the election results.

Ms Clinton actually got more votes than Mr Trump, with the latest count putting her almost 400,000 ahead.

Security barricades were in place around some of Mr Trump's highly visible properties, including the newly opened Trump International Hotel near the White House and in Trump Tower on New York's Fifth Avenue, where he lives.

A protest in Portland, Oregon, late on Thursday grew violent with demonstrators throwing objects at police and damaging cars at a dealership. Police arrested at least 26 people.

Reuters / Newshub.