Monday 24 July 2017

White House spokesman gave 'alternative facts' on inauguration crowd, Kellyane Conway

Counselor to U.S. President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway prepares to go on the air in front of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Donald Trump Counsellor Kellyanne Conway has claimed a White House press secretary gave "alternative facts" when he described the inauguration crowd as the "largest ever".

Ms Conway was speaking to NBC news today in the wake of the controversy over the attendance at Friday's Presidential inauguration.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer gathered the media together in the aftermath of the event to deliver a five-minute statement.

Pictures had been shared on social media appeared to show acres of empty space on Washington DC's National Mall, where an estimated 1.8 million people stood to see his predecessor in 2009.

However Mr Spicer claimed that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe".

His claims were backed up by President Trump who insisted that his was "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration - period" and slammed the reports as "shameful".

This pair of photos shows a view of the crowd on the National Mall at the inaugurations of President Barack Obama, above, on January 20, 2009, and President Donald Trump, below, on January 20, 2017. The photo above and the screengrab from video below were both shot shortly before noon from the top of the Washington Monument (Reuters)
This pair of photos shows a view of the crowd on the National Mall at the inaugurations of President Barack Obama, above, on January 20, 2009, and President Donald Trump, below, on January 20, 2017. The photo above and the screengrab from video below were both shot shortly before noon from the top of the Washington Monument (Reuters)

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" why Mr Spicer used his first appearance before the press to dispute a minimal issue like the inauguration crowd size, and why he used falsehoods to do so, Ms Conway responded.

"You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that," she told NBC's Chuck Todd.

Ms Conway went on to say that it wasn't possible to count the crowd, despite Spicer's and Trump's claim that it was the "largest audience."

"I don't think you can prove those numbers one way or another. There's no way to quantify crowd numbers," she said.

She also hinted that the line of questioning may affect the White House's treatment of the media.

"If we're going to keep referring to the press secretary in those types of terms I think we're going to have to rethink our relationship here," she said.

Ms Conway's interview has led to a huge reaction online with #AlternativeFacts trending on Twitter:






Online Editors

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News