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Offering “Alternative Facts,” White House Lies About Inauguration Crowd Size

HeadlineJan 23, 2017

On Saturday morning at 9:40 a.m., The New York Times tweeted a photo comparing the crowd size from Trump’s inauguration to that of President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, which drew a record 1.8 million. In response, on Saturday, new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer angrily stormed into the press room and lied multiple times about Trump’s inauguration, falsely claiming more people had attended or watched on TV than any other inauguration in U.S. history.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe. Even The New York Times printed a photograph showing that—a misrepresentation of the crowd in the original tweet in their paper, which showed the full extent of the support, depth and crowd and intensity that existed. These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”

That was the new White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, who also lied about the number of people who rode the D.C. Metro Friday and whether Friday was the first time in U.S. history that floor coverings had been used on the National Mall. He immediately left the podium after reading the press statement without taking any questions from reporters. On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd confronted counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway about these lies.

Kellyanne Conway: “Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What it—you’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving—Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains—”

Chuck Todd: “Wait a minute. Alternative facts?”

Kellyanne Conway: “—that there’s—”

Chuck Todd: “Alternative facts? Four of the five facts he uttered—the one thing he got right—”

Kellyanne Conway: “Hey, Chuck, why—hey, Chuck—”

Chuck Todd: “—was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.”

President Trump himself attacked the press during a speech at the CIA headquarters Saturday.

President Donald Trump: “As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.”

That’s Donald Trump, speaking before the Wall of the Fallen, those in the CIA who’ve died around the world. Many attacked him for this political speech, obsessing about the size of his inaugural crowd. Among those who criticized him was former CIA director John Brennan.

On Sunday morning, Trump also attacked Saturday’s protesters, tweeting, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.” In fact, while Trump won the Electoral College, he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million. In a follow-up tweet, Trump said, “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

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