Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration had seven million fewer viewers than Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
A total of 30.6 million people across 12 networks watched the swearing in, parade and various balls that were a part of Trump’s inauguration, according to Forbes. The broadcast lasted from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 20.
The largest amount of viewers, 8.8 million, watched Fox News, and the majority, 19.2 million, were older than 55-years-old.
Obama’s 2009 inauguration had 37.7 million viewers, second only to former President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Even the inauguration’s of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon had more viewers than Trump’s.
But White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Jan. 21 that “this was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.”
To back up his claim, Spicer said 420,000 people used the District of Columbia’s Metro public transit system the day of Trump’s inauguration, compared to 317,000 during Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
Spicer’s claim was rebuked by Metro when it released ridership information to The Washington Post. The public transportation authority said ridership was the lowest in at least two presidential inaugurations, and lower than that of an average workday, with 570,557 people using the transportation system from 4 a.m. Friday through midnight.
When Obama was inaugurated in 2009, 1.1 million trips were taken, and in 2013, 782,000.
However, when compared to Obama’s 2013 inauguration, Trump did have a larger viewership.
“Wow, television ratings just out: 31 million people watched the inauguration, 11 million more than the very good ratings from 4 years ago!,” he said in a tweet on Jan. 22.
Trump is correct; 20.6 million people watched Obama’s second inauguration in 2013, according to Nielsen.
The day after the inauguration, Jan. 21, hundreds of thousands of women marched in the nation’s capital and in cities around the world in the Women’s March to voice to the Trump administration that women’s rights are human rights.
Spicer refused to comment on the marches, but Trump took to Twitter to remark on the event.
“Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election!” he tweeted on Jan. 22. “Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”
“Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy,” he wrote in a follow up tweet. “Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”
More than one million people participated in the Women’s March in the U.S. and around the world, according to ABC News. And over 500,000 people were at the Washington D.C. rally, city officials said.
Sources: Forbes, The Washington Post, Nielsen, Donald Trump/Twitter (2) (3), ABC News / Photo credit: National Museum of the U.S. Navy/Flickr