In his first CIA briefing since he became president, Donald Trump thought it would be a brilliant idea to express his concerns about the media “lying” about a very petty fact: his inauguration crowd numbers.
In a speech and photo op at the CIA headquarters in Virginia on Saturday, Trump lambasted the media characterization of his sparsely attended inauguration.
“We had a massive field of people. You saw that, packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I said, ‘Wait a minute. I made a speech,’" said an indignant Trump. “I looked out. The field was… it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. Then they said, ‘Donald Trump did not draw well.’”
He then explained that they had about 250,000 people “in the little bowl they constructed” but the rest went “all the way back to Washington Monument” — as usual, without any proof and in direct opposition to photos that show otherwise.
“So, we caught them,” he said, apparently referring to the media. “And we caught them in a beauty and I think they're going to pay a big price.”
However, it is not possible that Trump was able to judge the size of the crowd from his vantage point at the inauguration. But aerial photos show the huge empty areas that were filled when former President Barack Obama was sworn in — and filled during Saturday's Women's March on Washington.
Whatever the size of the crowd, it was ridiculous that Trump discussed this trivial fact during the CIA speech, standing in front of a wall that honors CIA agents who died in the line of duty, no less. He was supposed to be mending his relationship with the CIA after trashing them during and after the election.
“I love you. I respect you. There’s nobody I respect more,” he said to the intelligence officials. This was a far cry from what he said just a couple of weeks ago when an unverified Russian dossier containing compromising information about him was released.
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
It’s too much to hope that Trump might simply be growing up now that he’s leader of the free world. He might just be lying again. He has certainly resorted to falsehoods on previous occasions, especially when it comes to the press, as is evident by the video above.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters