White House spokesman gave 'alternative facts' on inauguration crowd, Kellyane Conway
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.
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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".
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:
Kellyanne Conway now refers to their lies as "alternative facts." We get it. War is peace, freedom is slavery, Trump is presidential.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 22, 2017
#alternativefacts Operation Dumbo Drop is the greatest movie ever made. Period.— Denis Leary (@denisleary) January 22, 2017
Your honour, my client wasn't lying on the stand. He was sharing #alternativefacts.— Bad Legal LLP (@BadLegalLLP) January 22, 2017
I've decided to use #alternativefacts when filing my income tax return, so I don't have to pay any taxes...just like Trump.— Joshua/יהושע (@joshuazakariya) January 22, 2017
I am super successful and popular and not a disappointment to my parents #alternativefacts— Vaguely Symmetrical (@NonieShiverick) January 22, 2017
Lies now called "alternative facts" by trump admin https://t.co/GCIfqoQDTz— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 22, 2017