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Rather than giving a speech paying tribute to the CIA’s fallen at the revered wall at the CIA headquarters on Saturday, Trump instead spoke of himself, his election, and crowd size at his inauguration in the televised speech broadcast nation-wide.
In front of the 117 stars, signifying the CIA’s fallen, the CIA’s version of Arlington Cemetery, Trump discussed his cabinet picks, then moved to the size of his inauguration crowd and the media, saying:
I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.
And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the Intelligence Community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number 1 stop is exactly the opposite. Exactly. And they understand that too.
And I was explaining about the numbers. We did a thing yesterday, the speech, and everybody really liked the speech, you had to right?
We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed.
I get up this morning. I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I say: “wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out. The field was…. It looked like a million, a million and a half people.” They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there. And they said “Donald Trump did not draw well”. And I said “well it was almost raining”. The rain should have scared them away. But God looked down and he said “we’re not going to let it rain on your speech.”
Following his appearance at the CIA, Trump ordered the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, to hold a press conference concerning the crowd size at his inauguration. Spicer took to the podium, saying, “Photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. ” He went on to say, “Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers, because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out.”
Although the National Park Service did not release any numbers on the size of the crowd at the inauguration, they did however re-Tweet an image showing the size of the crowds at the 2009 inauguration and Friday’s.
After the NPR posted the re-tweet on the social network Twitter, the NPR’s Twitter account went off-line. An email directive from the White House was released, saying, “All bureaus and the department have been directed by incoming administration to shut down Twitter platforms immediately until further notice.”
The accounts were down for hours, and when they were back online, the tweets had disappeared from the site.
Spicer left the press conference without answering any of the press’s questions.
His conduct on Saturday was completely opposite of the comments made in an interview with David Axelrod on January 4th, where he said in front of the camera, in response to Axelrod’s question if he would quit if asked to tell a lie, “it is not a question of… I can’t… I don’t think any communicator worth their salt can go out and tell a lie… Um, you just can’t do it, I think it’s one thing for a surrogate to say something, or and again I am not by any means advocating that, you have to… You can spin the way you want, but I think to go out and tell an all-out lie is not acceptable.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host, Chuck Todd asked Trump’s Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway about Spicer’s comments made to reporters that “”this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” she responded saying, “You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts.”
To that, Todd said as he pressed for answer, “What was the motive to have this ridiculous litigation of crowd size?” Conway replied, “Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That’s not your job.”
When she was queried later in the show again, she said, “I’ll answer it this way: Think about what you just said to your viewers. That’s why we feel compelled to go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there.”
While the definition of fact “is a thing that is indisputable,” the term “alternative fact” is in fact a lie dressed up so it doesn’t seem to be what it actually is…a lie.
The dictionary, Merriam-Webster took to Twitter to reply today, tweeting,
📈A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality. https://t.co/gCKRZZm23c
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) January 22, 2017