Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer inaugurated his first day on the job by telling easily falsifiable lies about the relative sizes of the Trump inauguration crowds and those of the Obama administration.
To its credit, the press has responded with vigor: the New York Times called Spicer's statements false claims (though stopped short of calling them lies).
When asked to explain why Spicer devoted the president's first press conference to lying about petty bullshit like crowd-sizes, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway insisted that Spicer's remarks were not lies, but were, rather, "alternative facts." She then threatened the press if they failed to accept this, saying "If we're going to keep referring to the press secretary in those types of terms I think we're going to have to rethink our relationship here."
Asked on "Meet the Press" why Spicer used his first appearance before the press to dispute a minimal issue like the inauguration crowd size, and why he used falsehoods to do so, Conway pushed back.
"You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that," she told NBC's Chuck Todd.
Kellyanne Conway: WH Spokesman Gave ‘Alternative Facts’ on Inauguration Crowd
[Alexandra Jaffe/NBC News]
(Images: Sean Spicer, Graham Hughey, CC-BY-SA; Twemoji 1f4a9, Twitter, CC-BY)
Trump Town is a Propublica/Columbia Journalism Investigations interactive database of everyone working in the Trump administration; the latest revision reveals that Trump has hired 281 former lobbyists to regulate the industries that used to sign their paychecks.
Earlier this month, we learned that one of the most enduring frustrations of Trump's presidency is that no one will take his suggestion of building a moat filled with man-eating alligators and poisonous snakes along the US border (something he's been talking up for at least 35 years!).
Ben Watson is a reporter for Defenseone, a news site that covers "US defense and National Security" who formerly served in the US Army as a public affairs officer; last week, Watson returned to the USA after an assignment in Denmark, entering the country at Dulles Airport.
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