WASHINGTON: US President-elect Donald Trump denounced Americans who protested against his election and hours later praised them on Friday, underscoring contradictions that have raised questions about his leadership style.

“Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!” Trump tweeted early on Friday. It was a sharp shift in tone from his tweet hours earlier dismissing the demonstrators in eight cities as “professional protesters, incited by the media.”

The contradictory tweets were further evidence of Trump’s mixed messages since he announced his candidacy 17 months ago. After Clinton conceded defeat early on Wednesday, he took a far more conciliatory tone than he had often displayed during his campaign and promised to be a president for all Americans.

Anti-Trump demonstrators voiced concerns over his presidency, due to start on Jan 20, would infringe on Americans’ civil and human rights. They cited his campaign promises to restrict immigration and register Muslims, as well as allegations the Republican Trump - a former reality-TV star - sexually abused women.

In various cities, marchers chanted slogans including, “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!” and carried signs reading, “Impeach Trump.” White supremacist groups including the Ku Klux Klan have praised Trump’s election and some civil rights advocacy groups have reported a spike of attacks on minorities following Trump's Tuesday victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump has rejected the KKK's support.