In an interview airing this morning on Fox News, President-elect Donald Trump said Democrats shunning his inauguration this Friday should return their tickets. At least 54 House Democrats have pledged they will not attend the event, according to the latest whip list by The Hill. A growing number of Democrats have said they will break with tradition and skip Trump’s presidential inauguration in three days.
The number of boycotters has swelled following Trump’s recent feud with John Lewis, who said last week he does not view Trump as a “legitimate president," and said he would not attend Trump’s inauguration, leading the president-elect to accuse him of being “all talk” and “no action” on Twitter. Democrats initially vowed they would not attend Trump’s swearing-in after last year’s bitter presidential campaign.
“As far as other people not going, that’s OK, because we need seats so badly,” Trump said during a Fox News interview scheduled to air Wednesday. “No, what happens to their tickets?” Trump asked host Ainsley Earhardt. "I hope they’re gonna give us their tickets. I hope they give me their tickets.”
A growing number of Democrats have said they will break with tradition and skip Trump’s presidential inauguration in three days. At least 54 House Democrats have pledged they will not attend the event, according to The Hill’s whip list.
Trump on Wednesday mocked Lewis, meanwhile, for saying he had never boycotted an inauguration despite doing so during former President George W. Bush’s in 2001. “He conveniently doesn’t remember. How do you forget if you go to an inauguration? I can tell you when I was at inaugurations and you don’t forget something like that."
Separately, in the same interview, Trump said that he dislikes tweeting and uses Twitter as a defense against media. “Look, I don’t like tweeting,” Trump insisted during the interview. "I have other things I could be doing.”
“But I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press. And it’s my only way that I can counteract. When people make misstatements about me, I’m able to say it and call it out.” Trump additionally promised he would reduce his Twitter activity once the press treats him more respectfully.
“Now if the press were honest, which it’s not, I would absolutely not use Twitter,” he told host Ainsley Earhardt on “Fox & Friends," adding, "I wouldn’t have to.”
Trump has repeatedly used Twitter for savaging opponents ranging from lawmakers to foreign leaders and even celebrities. Critics have voiced concern, however, that the social media platform’s 140-character limit is too simplistic for complex policy issues.
Trump’s tweets, meanwhile, have become the news market moving catalyst du jour, driving not only stock price moves but the entire news cycles.
Yesterday Fox News reported that Trump will use his personal Twitter account instead of the official presidential account once he takes office, according to a report from NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell. Trump explained his reasoning for keeping his personal account in an interview with The Sunday Times.
“@realDonaldTrump I think, I’ll keep it. ... So I’ve got 46 million people right now — that’s a lot, that’s really a lot — but 46 million — including Facebook, Twitter and ya know, Instagram, so when you think that you’re 46 million there, I’d rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump, it’s working — and the tweeting, I thought I’d do less of it, but I’m covered so dishonestly by the press — so dishonestly — that I can put out Twitter — and it’s not 140, it’s now 280 — I can go bing bing bing ... and they put it on and as soon as I tweet it out — this morning on television, Fox — ‘Donald Trump, we have breaking news,’”
Trump created his @realDonaldTrump account in 2009 and has sent more than 34,000 messages on Twitter. He has more than 20 million followers. Obama created the first official presidential Twitter account @POTUS in 2015, but it has only 13.5 million followers, and he sent only 342 tweets as president.