– Washington, D.C.
White House Press Secretary and angry small person Sean Spicer took to the stage Saturday night for his first press conference. However instead of taking questions, he immediately launched into a five minute tirade, accusing the media of lying about the size Donald Trump’s (demonstrably tiny) inauguration crowds.
Bear in mind it’s not up for debate that Trump’s inaugural events were by a wide margin less attended than Obama’s. That didn’t stop Spicer from just making things up to fit his boss’ narrative. At one point he even claimed that Trump’s crowds were “… the largest audience to attend an inauguration, period.”
Here is how Politifact rated that statement.
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) January 22, 2017
Here are just some of Spicer’s most bizarre claims…
1. Spicer claimed that it was the “first time in the Nation’s history” that floor coverings had been used to protect the grass on the mall.
In fact floor coverings were used during Obama’s 2013 inaugural.
2. “Spicer said “This was also the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past.”
Actually magnetometers were not in use and the Secret Service has backed that up.
A USSS spokesperson tells us no magnetometers were used on the National Mall for Trump's inauguration.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 22, 2017
3.Spicer said, “We know that 420,000 people used the D.C, Metro public transit yesterday, which actually compares to 317,000 for president Obama’s last inaugural.”
He’s actually giving Trump short shrift. The correct number according to D.C. Metro itself is 570,557. However once again Obama beat them with782,000 trips taken by riders in 2013.
Spicer went on to claim the media had framed photos of the inauguration in such a way as to make the crowds look smaller. This would mean that the entirety of the press and every photo agency worldwide had engaged in a massive conspiracy to make Trump’s crowds look small. Look for Spicer at his next conference to claim the moon landing never happened and that JFK was shot by Bigfoot.
The reaction from journalists on Twitter and in the room was one of shock and then anger that Spicer would wrongfully berate them for not telling the truth and then proceed to lie his tiny butt off.
I've run out of adjectives.
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) January 21, 2017
Sean Spicer claims the media inaccurately reported crowd sizes, but video footage suggests otherwise. pic.twitter.com/2fIardInCA
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 21, 2017
Sean Spicer is the new Baghdad Bob. That was positively Soviet. https://t.co/jcj8cMeKxq
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 21, 2017
I feel like Trump's best remedy to this Sean Spicer debacle would be to send out Pence to vigorously deny Spicer ever said it. pic.twitter.com/0Cu5E99xqs
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) January 22, 2017
Trust is already at a low between the press and the Trump administration. CNN went so far as to refuse to carry the news conference live, opting to air it later after they’d had a chance to fact check. It seems like they made the right call. Will the rest of the media take such extreme steps to combat the constant lies coming out of the White House? We will have to wait and see.
Here is video of Spicer’s full remarks. If you’re going to watch them, take our advice and drink wine first.