Trump returns to pre-election form in tweet calling protests 'unfair'

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President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his displeasure Thursday night at "unfair" protests against his election and accused activists of being paid agents egged on by the media, putting an end to a brief stretch of conciliatory behavior since Tuesday.

His tone shifted overnight, however, with the president-elect posting a more measured message early Friday.

His first messaged showed Trump apparently moved to anger at what may be the peak moment of validation of his professional life. Earlier in the day, President Barack Obama had congratulated him in at the White House and offered his support to the man who for years had questioned his legitimacy and citizenship.

RELATED: Thousands protest Trump across the country

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Demonstrators protest outside of City Hall following the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in downtown Los Angeles, California November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
SOUTH GATE, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Students in South Gate protest the election Donald Trump as president in front of City Hall. (Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 10: Protesters of President-elect Donald Trump march down the I-94 on November 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets in protest in the days following the election of Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Demonstrators gesture toward an approaching line of police officers as they stopped traffic on Interstate 580 during a demonstration following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, in Oakland, California, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Thousands of anti-Trump protesters shut down 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower as New Yorkers react to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States on November 9, 2016 in New York City. Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in an upset to become the 45th president.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Protesters reach Trump Tower as they march against Republican president-elect Donald Trump in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Protestors hanging onto a signpost shout slogans on 5th Avenue across from Trump Tower on November 9, 2016 in New York, after Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the US.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

People march in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as the president of the United States in Seattle, Washington, U.S. November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jason Redmond)

Office workers show their support for protesters marching along Sixth Avenue, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York, in opposition of Donald Trump's presidential election victory.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

The Empire State Building is seen in the background as demonstrators hold a sign during a march against President-elect Donald Trump in Manhattan, New York, U.S. November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

Demonstrators protest on top of a bus outside of the Trump Tower November 9, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Thousands of people across the United States took to the streets in protest a day after Republican Donald Trump was elected president, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton.

(Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)

Remy joins protestors marching against Republican Donald Trump's victory in Tuesday's U.S. presidential election in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Mark Makela)

People try to reach Trump Tower as they protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

A demonstrator wears a headpiece depicting the crown of the Statue of Liberty during a protest in San Francisco, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Protesters burn an effigy of Donald Trump in Lee Circle before a march through New Orleans, La., November 9, 2016.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Protestors rally against Donald Trump outside of Trump Tower, November 9, 2016 in New York City. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the early hours of the morning in a widely unforeseen upset.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

People protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/TEMPLATE OUT/TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Demonstrators walk through Downtown San Diego in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as the president of the United States in San Diego, California, U.S. November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker)

A woman chants from a window as demonstrators march on Market Street in San Francisco, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

People climb a pole on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower during protests following President-elect Donald Trump's election victory in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

Security forces stand guard in front of the Trump Tower during a protest against President-elect Donald Trump of Republican Party in Chicago, United States on November 9, 2016.

(Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Protestors brandish a tattered US national flag during a demonstration on 5th Avenue across from Trump Tower on November 9, 2016 in New York, after Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the US.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

People take part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump in New York City on November 9, 2016.

(KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

A protester carries an upside down American flag as she walks along Sixth Avenue while demonstrating against President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. Thousands of protesters around the country took to the streets Wednesday to condemn the election of Trump as president.

(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Protesters burn a U.S. flag while they reach Trump Tower as they march against Republican president-elect Donald Trump in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

People take part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump in New York City on November 9, 2016.

(KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

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Trump's first tweet also marked a departure from his past statements on protests and elections, ushering in a new dynamic now that he's poised to inherit a position of power.

Related: Nationwide Protests Continue as Obama and Trump Meet

As early returns came on Election Night 2012, when he mistakenly believed that Republican Mitt Romney had lost the election while winning the popular vote, Trump tweeted: "We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty."

In March of this year, he warned of "riots" by his supporters if Republicans refused to make him their party's nominee.

RELATED: Lady Gaga protests Donald Trump election

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Lady Gaga protests Donald Trump election
Musician Lagy Gaga sits in her car after staging a protest against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump outside Trump Tower in New York City after midnight on election day November 9, 2016. Donald Trump stunned America and the world, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States. The Republican mogul defeated his Democratic rival, plunging global markets into turmoil and casting the long-standing global political order, which hinges on Washington's leadership, into doubt. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Musician Lady Gaga stages a protest against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on a sanitation truck outside Trump Tower in New York City after midnight on election day November 9, 2016. Donald Trump stunned America and the world, riding a wave of populist resentment to defeat Hillary Clinton in the race to become the 45th president of the United States. The Republican mogul defeated his Democratic rival, plunging global markets into turmoil and casting the long-standing global political order, which hinges on Washington's leadership, into doubt. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
❤️🇺🇸I want to live in a #CountryOfKindness where #LoveTrumpsHate https://t.co/Eni145YgW1
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The tweet Thursday night sparked an immediate backlash, serving as a reminder of the challenges Trump faces matching his outsize personality to the office of the White House, a position that often demands restraint.

At Thursday night's protests in New York, Dymonde Lee, a native New Yorker back for a visit, called Trump's tweet "crazy." And Michael Charles, a longtime resident of the city, said he'd be happy to get paid, dismissing the tweet as "more of the same" from Trump.

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