Sean Spicer Addresses False Statements About Trump Crowd

Protesters in Washington DC

'Our intention is never to lie to you, ' he told ABC's Jonathan Karl.

"I don't think ultimately presidents are judged by crowd sizes".

Spicer, though, stood by a claim he made Saturday that Trump's audience was the largest "to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe".

Perhaps knowing she was standing on incredibly shaky ground, Trump's former campaign manager then attempted to shift the conversation to attacking the record of the Obama Administration and the people who took part in this weekend's Women's March on Washington.

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Politico noted that "calculating the overall global viewership for Trump's inauguration would be almost impossible, but in the USA, it was viewed by 30.6 million Americans". And in 2009, President Obama had a TV audience of some 39 million, and 21 million streamed the proceedings on CNN, a larger total than Trump's.

'Combine that with the tens of millions of people that watched it online, on a device.

An estimated 1.8 million people flooded the National Mall area in 2009 when Barack Obama was first sworn in as president, according to federal and local agencies at the time.

Spicer blamed the poor visuals of the inauguration on floor coverings protecting the grass, saying they highlighted empty spaces. "There is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump", he said in an attempt to bury an earlier statement in which he likened the intelligence community to Nazi Germany.

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"Without their [media] support, Donald Trump's presidency will falter".

He went on to back up his statement with a series of "facts", which were later dubbed "alternative facts" by White House aide Kellyanne Conway.

At his first official White House press briefing on Monday, Spicer acknowledged that the figures he cited for Metro ridership did not comport with those of D.C. officials. I did it. We're here today.

The exchange was part of an, at times, adversarial relationship between the press and the Trump team. When she knows she's beat, she pivots to a completely different topic and paints herself and the Trump administration as the helpless victim of the gotcha media's biased coverage.

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Perhaps the most interesting piece of Spicer's response, however, was his concession that when journalists make mistakes, "that doesn't mean that [they] were intentionally trying to deceive readers and the American people".