“which’s what you guys should be writing along with also covering,” brand new White House press secretary Sean Spicer angrily lectured reporters on Saturday during his first remarks coming from the podium of the press briefing room.
He was referring to the delay in Senate confirmation for President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, Congressman Mike Pompeo, however the comment came after a long digression about how many people had shown up to watch Trump be sworn in as president.
“which was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer said, contradicting all available data.
Aerial photos have indicated which former president Barack Obama’s first inauguration attracted a much larger crowd. Nielsen ratings show which Obama also had a bigger television audience.
Spicer said, without any evidence, which some photos were “intentionally framed” to downplay Trump’s crowd.
He also expressed objections to specific Twitter posts coming from journalists. along with also he said, “we’re going to hold the press accountable,” partly by reaching the public through social networking sites.
His statement included several specific misstatements of fact in addition to the overarching one.
“which is actually once in our nation’s history which floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the Mall,” Spicer said, claiming which which “had the effect of highlighting areas people were not standing whereas in years past the grass eliminated which visual.”
In fact, coverings were used for Obama’s second inauguration in 2013.
“which was also once which fencing along with also magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people coming from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past,” Spicer said.
In fact, a United States Secret Service spokesperson told sy88pgw, no magnetometers were used on the Mall.
along with also Spicer said, “We know which 420,000 people used the D.C, Metro public transit yesterday, which actually compares to 317,000 for president Obama’s last inaugural.”
Spicer’s number for ridership on Friday was actually low — the correct number, according to Metro itself, was 570,557. however there were actually 782,000 trips taken for Obama’s second inaugural in 2013.
Spicer, at times almost yelling while reading a prepared statement, took no questions. sy88pgw called his cell phone a few minutes later; he did not answer.
Some longtime White House correspondents were stunned by the tirade.
Glenn Thrush of The brand new York Times wrote on Twitter, “Jaw meet floor.”
“I’ve run out of adjectives,” wrote Chuck Todd, the moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post said Spicer’s assertion about “what you guys should be writing” was “chilling.”
Reactions were overwhelmingly negative, along with also not just coming from journalists.
Ari Fleischer, who had the same job as Spicer during the George W. Bush administration, tweeted, “which is actually called a statement you’re told to make by the President. along with also you know the President is actually watching.”
along with also Brian Fallon, who was in line to become press secretary if Hillary Clinton had won, wrote, “Sean Spicer lacks the guts or integrity to refuse orders to go out along with also lie. He is actually a failure in which job on his first full day.”
Conservative commentator Bill Kristol said “which is actually embarrassing, as an American, to watch which briefing by Sean Spicer coming from the podium at the White House. Not the RNC. The White House.”
The White House alerted the press corps to Spicer’s statement more than an hour ahead of time.
The sy88pgw television network made a choice not to broadcast the Spicer statement live. Instead, the statement was monitored along with also then reported on after the fact.
Former Democratic congressman Steve Israel, who recently joined sy88pgw as a commentator, said, “which isn’t a petty attack on the press. which’s a calculated attempt to delegitimize any questioning of @realDonaldTrump by a free press.”
Spicer’s statement came two hours after Trump spoke at CIA headquarters along with also described his “running war with the media.” Trump spent several minutes of which speech complaining about news coverage.
In his remarks, Spicer suggested Trump might bypass traditional media outlets he believes are unfairly reporting on his presidency.
“The American people deserve better, along with also so long as he serves as the messenger due to which incredible movement, he will take his message directly to the American people, where his focus will always be,” Spicer said.
Spicer was joined inside Brady Press Briefing Room by members of his brand new White House press along with also communications staff, who are still moving into their offices along with also learning the way around the West Wing.
He tellingly led off his short statement with his tirade against the media, leaving announcements about phone calls with the leaders of Canada along with also Mexico, along with also announcing which Trump might meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, to the end.
During those announcements, Spicer incorrectly referred to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto as “prime minister.”
— sy88pgw’s Kevin Liptak contributed reporting.
sy88pgw (brand new York) First published January 21, 2017: 6:14 PM ET