On protests, Trump goes from defiant to conciliatory in 96 minutes.

Trump Response to Protests: From Defiant to Conciliatory in 96 Minutes

Trump Response to Protests: From Defiant to Conciliatory in 96 Minutes

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Jan. 22 2017 2:01 PM

Trump Response to Protests: From Defiant to Conciliatory in 96 Minutes

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Donald Trump speaks at a news cenference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It seems President Donald Trump was having a bit of trouble deciding how he felt about the global protests against his new administration that took place around the world on Saturday. First he sarcastically dismissed them as insignificant, and later defended their rights to protest. The first reaction came via a tweet that was posted at 7:47 a.m. EST: “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”

But 96 minutes later, Trump seemed to have a change of hurt and posted a tweet with a very different tone at 9:23 a.m. EST: “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.”

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The dueling tweets suggest the president may still be operating his Twitter account as a stream-of-consciousness outlet to speak his mind even after he was sworn-in as commander-in-chief. But senior adviser Kellyanne Conway also struck a conciliatory tone, saying Trump would be willing to talk directly with those who organized the women’s march “but none of them has reached out to us” so far. “Folks who are actually open to constructive conversation and solutions, of course we’re open to that,” Conway told Bloomberg News. “He said from the beginning he’d be the president of all Americans.”

Trump and his administration spent a significant portion of his first full day in office complaining the media had maliciously underestimated the number of people who attended his inauguration.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.