The Trump administration held its first press conference Saturday, and it did not go well. White House press secretary Sean Spicer took the podium and railed against journalists for what he called the “false reporting” of the sparse crowd that attended Friday’s inauguration.
While official estimates suggest approximately 250,000 people attended, a charged up Spicer claimed that “no one had numbers...because the National Park Service does not put any out.” By comparison, Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration was attended by one million people.
He accused the media of trying to “minimize the enormous support” of the new president, and called their reporting “shameful and wrong.” Things really went off the rails when Spicer claimed that Friday’s spectators were “the largest audience to witness an inauguration. Period!”
Spicer also called out the media, and one tweet in particular, for reporting that the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office, calling the report “reckless and irresponsible.” That story has since been disproved.
He then left the podium with no mention of today's historic marches, and without taking any questions. Twitter swiftly savaged the new press secretary for the disseminating blatant falsehoods that can easily be disproved with hard data and facts.
It was clear to many that Spicer’s briefing was a direct order from his boss, who earlier in the day appeared obsessed with the inaugural crowd size during a speech he gave at CIA headquarters.
“It looked honestly, it looked like a million and a half people, whatever it was, it was, but it went all the way back to Washington Monument,” Trump told a room full of CIA employees. “I get this network and it showed an empty field,” he said. “And it said we drew 250,000 people, now that’s not bad but it’s a lie.”
Trump also took time to blast the media for creating tensions between himself and the intelligence community. “There is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump,” he said in an attempt to bury an earlier statement in which he likened the intelligence community to Nazi Germany.
“I have a running war with the media,” Trump explained. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth, right? And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want you to know that there’s a reason you’re the No. 1 stop: It is exactly the opposite.”
CIA Director John Brennan ripped Trump for his "despicable display of self-aggrandizement" at “CIA's wall of heroes," adding that “he should be ashamed of himself."
This is day two, folks. Buckle up.