White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer did his first official press conference on Saturday evening, moving it up from its original Monday schedule.
And what was so important that the Presidential spokesman had to immediately speak to the White House press corp? Might it have been to outline the incoming agenda of the Trump administration? Was there an important piece of news of national importance that the public needed to know?
Well, apparently, an impromptu press conference was called in order to berate media outlets for their reporting. Spicer particularly honed in on reports of the underwhelming crowd size at Trump's inauguration compared to Obama's.
"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in-person and around the globe," Spicer asserted, without providing any evidence. His claim was also contradicted by images taken of the crowd on the National Mall, which appears smaller compared to Obama's 2009 inauguration.
But Spicer had an explanation for the difference. He said that the crowd appeared fewer because of the white floor coverings used in the National Mall, which had the effect of "highlighting areas where people were not standing, while in years past, the grass eliminated this visual." He also said that, "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."
He also stated that it would be irresponsible to cite numbers for the crowd because the National Park Service does not release official estimates as a rule. He went on to add that, “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm for the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”
Sean Spicer gave a stern warning to the gathered journalists at the press conference, “There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable. And I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways. We’re going to hold the press accountable as well.”
Is this how the White House will handle the press from now on?Scary, right?