Trump feuds with media over size of inauguration crowd


At a Saturday evening press conference - Spicer's first ever from the White House briefing room - the newly minted press secretary said of Friday's inauguration, "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration - period".

Repeating Spicer's contention that the media was incorrectly downplaying the response to Trump's inauguration, Priebus said on "Fox News Sunday" that "the point is not the crowd size".

Speaking at a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Mr Trump called the media "the most dishonest human beings on earth" before criticising the reporting of his inauguration. Repeating his usual description of journalists - "the most dishonest people on the earth" - Trump, who recently tweeted a reference to Nazi Germany with regard to agency investigations into his ties with Russian Federation, said the media "made it sound like I have a feud with the intelligence community and it's exactly the opposite". That's a notion arose largely from Trump's earlier dismissal of intelligence reports that concluded the Russian government tried to interfere in the US presidential elections to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Repeating his Friday inaugural address, Trump told his Central Intelligence Agency audience that "radical Islamic terrorism ... has to be eradicated off the face of the Earth". Standing in front of a memorial wall to dead CIA officers at the agency's headquarters, Mr. Trump told the assembled agents that reporters are "among the most dishonest human beings on Earth".

He went on to say that he felt the media had misrepresented the size of Friday's inaugural crowd. "I looked out. The field was - it looked like a million, a million and a half people", he said on Saturday.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, I made a speech.' I looked out".

"We had a massive field of people".

However, all photographs and video from the event show that the crowd did not extend as far as the Washington Monument, and there were in fact large areas reserved for attendees which remained empty throughout the day. "But it's a lie", Trump said. Now we move a little closer. "So we caught them, and we caught them in a beauty, and I think they're going to pay a big price".

Views from the stage don't show much difference.

Hundreds of protesters lined the motorcade route as Mr Trump sped back to the White House, many screaming and chanting at the president.

Conway also suggested that Todd's insistence on asking why Spicer delivered a demonstrably false statement could affect the White House's treatment of the media.

"This was the first time in our nation's history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the [National] Mall", Spicer stated erroneously.

Mr. Spicer, who read from a prepared text and occasionally seemed on the verge of shouting, appeared concerned about early reports that the Women's March on Washington had also surpassed Mr. Trump's inauguration in size.

The Washington rally alone attracted more than 500,000 people by the unofficial estimate of city officials.

Below: A transcript of Trump's remarks at the Central Intelligence Agency.

As you know, I have a running war with the media.

He claimed that the media had fabricated his dispute with the intelligence community. The reason you're the No. 1 stop is, it is exactly the opposite. I made a speech.