Singer Madonna defends 'blowing up the White House' remark

Pop singer Madonna, who said in a profanity-laced speech at Saturday's Women's March in Washington, D.C., that she had thought about "blowing up the White House," said on Sunday that she was speaking metaphorically.

Madonna's speech, which was criticised on social media, led some television networks to abruptly stop their live feeds of the march, which drew hundreds of thousands of people in demonstrations across the United States to protest the election of Donald Trump as president. 

"I am not a violent person," the singer songwriter said on Instagram. "I spoke in metaphor and I shared two ways of looking at things - one was to be hopeful, and one was to feel anger and outrage, which I have personally felt." 

The 58-year-old led the crowd on Saturday in chants of,"Yes, we're ready" to take on policies promoted by Trump, who alienated many women during the election campaign with comments'about rivals' attractiveness and promises to outlaw or diminish abortion rights.

Photo: AFP

Trump's comments in a decade-old video declaring that women would allow him, as a celebrity, to kiss and grope them without their consent further outraged many women.

But Madonna preceded the chants with coarse words for critics of the march. "To our detractors that insist that this march will never add up to anything, f*** you," the pop star said. She then repeated the expletive.

Her words drew immediate criticism on social media. On Youtube, where the speech was posted live and in recorded formats, several users called the singer "evil." 

Others expressed outrage over her comment that she had thought about blowing up the White House. On Twitter, some users demanded that she be investigated for making terrorist threats.

Turnout for Saturday's march was unprecedented, as organizers took credit for mobilizing 5 million marchers worldwide.

Official crowd estimates for the Washington centerpiece of the demonstration were not available, but turnout in the nation's capital clearly exceeded the 200,000 projected in advance by organizers, filling long stretches of downtown Washington around the White House and the National Mall.

Trump sworn in as 45th US president

  • President Donald Trump assumed power Friday with a fiercely nationalistic vow to put "America first," declaring a new political era after being sworn in as the 45th US head of state.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people stood in the rain-splattered National Mall to see the 70-year-old Republican billionaire take the oath of office and deliver a stridently populist call-to-arms.
  • Former US president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn arrive for the inauguration of President Trump.
  • Former US president Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • Former US President George W. Bush and his wife Laura.
  • Bush put up a struggle with his poncho.
  • American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a donor to the Trump campaign.
  • Senators Bernie Sanders and John McCain.
  • "From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land," Trump said, promising an end to business-as-usual in Washington.

    "From this moment on, it's going to be only America First."

  • "Today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, DC. And giving it back to you, the people."
  • While the US capital city no longer provides official crowd counts, the turnout was visibly smaller than for Barack Obama's two inaugurations, in 2009 and 2013, with sections of the Mall and bleachers along the parade route left empty.
  • And as the incoming leader rallied his supporters for the swearing-in, throngs of his opponents also converged on Washington.
  • Most of the protests - by an array of anti-racist, anti-war, feminist, LGBT, pro-immigration and marijuana legalization groups - were noisy but peaceful, though sporadic violence marred the day.
  • Between 400 and 500 masked, black-clad protesters carrying anarchist flags smashed windows, lit fires and scuffled with riot police in downtown Washington, blocks from the parade held in Trump's honour, with over 90 people arrested for vandalism.
  • Even the peaceful protesters were intent on spoiling Trump's party - letting out a deafening roar as the presidential limousine known as "The Beast" rolled by on the way to the White House.
  • "Not my president! Not my president!" they yelled, as the pro- Trump crowd in bleachers across the street chanted "USA! USA!".
  • Trump's inauguration caps the improbable rise to power of the Manhattan real estate magnate who has never before held elected office, served in government or in the armed forces.
  • His speech was far from the typical optimistic inaugural address that tries to bridge political divides and lift Americans' gaze up to the horizon.
  • It was a deliberate and striking contrast from the uplifting message of Obama, the outgoing president who was among the dignitaries in attendance.
  • Obama and his wife Michelle departed the Capitol by helicopter moments after the swearing-in ceremony, turning a page on eight years of Democratic leadership in the White House.
  • At a Congressional luncheon afterward, Trump led a standing ovation for his defeated election rival Hillary Clinton, saying he was "honoured" that she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, attended his inauguration.
  • When Trump descended the escalators of his glitzy New York tower in June 2015, his run for office was roundly dismissed and even mocked.
  • Trump and First Lady Melania Trump dance during the Armed Forces ball at the National Building Museum.
  • Trump, the first lady Melania Trump, US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen cut a cake after dancing at the Armed Services ball.