Spicer on protests: Trump has 'healthy respect for the First Amendment'

Spicer on protests: Trump has 'healthy respect for the First Amendment'
© Greg Nash

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday responded to the Women’s March on Washington, saying President Trump respects Americans’ rights to protest and freedom of speech.

“I think he has a healthy respect for the First Amendment,” Spicer told reporters. “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.”

On Saturday, the day after Trump was sworn into office, an estimated 500,000 people attended a march on the National Mall and around Washington, D.C., to protest the new administration and advocate for women’s issues.

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Spicer quoted Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), who tweeted that protest attendees were there for a variety of reasons.

“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,” Spicer said.

“I think the president shared Debbie Dingell’s views: that there were people who came to the Mall like they do all the time.”

When asked how the president can reach out to protesters and unite the country, Spicer said Trump would be able to accomplish that through “action and success.”

“I think he reaches out to them on the way he started the night he won the election, the way he did on Inauguration Day that sends a message that he’s fighting for them,” Spicer said.

“But more importantly, the president’s going to show through action and success that he’s fighting for them and every American.”