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Sunday, January 22, 2017

First Trump White House press briefing ends in controversy

At some point in his Presidency Donald Trump and his staff will have to stop treating the office of POTUS as an ego-stoking excercise and start governing. We are used to Donald Trump inflating the facts so as to big-himself-up, but surely his new Press Secretary has put himself in a difficult situation from the start by lying to the media from the White House rostrum at his first attempt.

The Mirror says the first White House briefing for Trump's press secretary descended into farce as he angrily claimed the president's inauguration had 'the largest audience ever', despite photographic evidence to the contrary:

Sean Spicer claimed the media had lied about attendance at Friday's inauguration as he said around 770,000 people had showed up – just hours after Trump claims there were double that number in the crowd.

The new President was widely ridiculed after pictures emerged showing a comparatively thin audience at his swearing-in ceremony alongside a picture of Barack Obama's packed inauguration.

But Spicer claimed that aerial photographs of the event had been "intentionally framed in a way in one particular tweet to minimise the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall".

His furious statement led to accusations on Twitter it was actually he that was lying, with some describing the briefing as 'Soviet'.

Spicer then launched into a bizarre defence arguing that the crowds seemed smaller because floor coverings had been used on the Mall that "highlighted" places where people were not standing.

The serious point behind this is if the Press Secretary cannot be trusted to get things right on such a trivial issue, how can the Trump White House be relied upon to tell the world the truth on more important issues?
A case of "print the legend"?
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