CHICAGO (CBS) — In his first press briefing, Sean Spicer didn’t back down from his claim that more people watched President Trump’s inauguration than any other.
“It was the most watched inauguration,” President Trump’s Press Secretary said. “Never mind the audience that was here. 31 million people watched it on television. Combine that with the tens of millions of people that watched it online, on a device. It’s unquestionable.”
The controversy flared over the weekend when President Trump claimed the media deliberately low-balled the inauguration crowd count, claiming the National Mall was completely full. However, reporters in D.C., including CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley, have attested to seeing plenty of empty space.
Spicer admitted that Trump believes there’s a concerted attempt to belittle his success. He also put forth his own thoughts on that notion, saying, “I think over and over again there’s this constant attempt to undermine his credibility and the movement he represents and it’s frustrating.”
But Spicer said truth and accuracy matter.
“I’m going to come out here and tell you the facts as I know them — and if we make a mistake, I’ll do our best to correct it.”
Earlier Monday, President Trump met separately with a contingent of corporate CEO’s and a group of union leaders. He also signed an order pulling the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Trade deal, signifying, Spicer said, a new era of American trade policy.
“…One that’s going to put American workers first and foremost and one that assures the rest of the world that the way we negotiate bilateral agreements is going to ensure that we get something out of these deals.”
Spicer’s first full media briefing, which lasted more than one hour, produced a few other headlines as well. He said the President has not made any decisions on moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, something Trump promised during his campaign. This is something many thought had already been decided, but according to Spicer, the Administration is just at the beginning of the decision-making process.
Spicer also attempted to calm the fears of the “DREAMers,” which refers to children brought to America by their undocumented parents. He said the President will focus on deporting illegal aliens with criminal records before looking at a solution for the DREAMers.