Trump's Press Secretary Distracted By Nonsense in First Briefing
Four days into his new presidency and Trump can’t get over a self-created conspiracy concerning inauguration crowd size. Following the swearing in, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the official press briefing would take place on Monday. But per Trump's direction, Spicer was required to hold an ill-advised briefing, where Spicer 'updated the press on the President’s activities.'
The Saturday mock briefing was called to assuage Trump’s egomania. Specifically, Trump felt insulted by a New York Times journalist who Tweeted a photo that depicted a stark contrast in inaugural crowd size. Former President Obama’s 2008 inauguration had a record 1.8 million flood the National Mall to observe his swearing in. While Trump’s sparsely attended inauguration had only approximately 250,000 in person viewers.
During this briefing, Spicer angrily explained what the “facts” are (according to the White House) regarding Trump’s inauguration popularity. At one point Spicer declared, “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm for the president are shameful and wrong.”
Let the lies begin…
Spicer began with issue number one – the media has “engaged in deliberately false reporting”
First issue Spicer highlighted focused on TIME magazine political reporter, Zeke Miller. Miller claimed, ‘the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval office.’ In fact, the claim was false. Miller quickly apologized for the mistake. However, that has not stopped Trump surrogates from voicing outrage over it. Spicer saying the mistake was, “irresponsible and reckless.”
Spicer transitioned to Trump’s second issue – as mentioned above, the attendance of Trump’s inauguration. Spicer asserted, ‘the inauguration was intentionally framed to minimize support for Trump. An incensed Spicer stated, “... This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe! Even the New York Times printed a photograph showing a misrepresentation of the crowd in the original Tweet in their paper, which showed the full extent of the support, depth in crowd, and intensity that existed.” Politifact published an article featuring recent inaugurations and Trump’s inauguration had an estimated attendance of only 250,000. Trump did not have anywhere near the largest inauguration audience.
Spicer’s announcement included a third issue – blaming Democrats for not fast tracking Trump’s nominee for CIA Director, decrying, “...Senate Democrats are stalling the nomination of Mike Pompeo and playing politics with national security.”
Spicer ended the briefing by trying to convince the American public that Trump is committed to unifying the nation, using the punch line: Trump’s administration will hold the media accountable. Spicer lectured, “...The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger for this incredible movement, he will take his message directly to the American people where his focus will always be.”
Spicer concluded with Trump updates:
• Trump held a conversation with the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada
• Trump held a conversation with President Peña Nieto of Mexico
• Trump will welcome Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom, on Friday
• President’s staff will have an ethics briefing and will hold a reception for law enforcement and first responders that helped on Trump’s inauguration day.
Despite America’s views of whether Trump is ready to be the leader of the free world, he is. But the only person unaware seems to be Trump.
It’s unprecedented to have the White House press secretary address the White House press core in such a disrespectful fashion. The briefing gave a clear message to the American people: the President of the United States appears averse to the truth.
The press is the bridge of democracy - a link between the people and those elected to govern.
Trump’s administration chose to discuss Trump’s unsuccessful inauguration and a tweeted photo, instead of key issues including: Israeli-Palestinian conflict, climate change, justice appointments, Affordable Care Act, etc.