The new president of the United States, Donald Trump attacked media for telling the truth about the number of people who attended his inauguration in Washington D.C. on Friday.
In a speech at the Central Intelligence Agency Trump claimed that news outlets had downplayed how many people had gathered on the National Mall to see him sworn in as president.
“I made a speech. I looked out. The field was – it looked like a million, a million and a half people,” he said.
The President therefore, said that 250,000, which is the number of attendees reported, was a “lie.”
The “rest of the, you know, 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed,” Trump added, mentioning that the media outlets caught lying would “pay a big price.”
In fact, photos taken at the event showed how the crowd did not in fact extend as far as the Washington Monument and there were even large areas reserved for attendees that remained empty throughout the day.
Photos from Obama’s inaugurations in 2009 and 2013 show a lot more people. It is though it was a record of 1.8 million people present.
On the other hand, over 500,000 people are thought to have marched in protest against Mr. Trump during the weekend, with demonstrations all over the world.
The presidential parade and the bleachers around it were pretty empty and the hotels in the area reported vacancies, unusual for such an event.
Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer also scolded journalists for their alleged attempts to “lessen the enthusiasm for the inauguration” adding that it was a “shameful and wrong,” thing to do.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe,” Spicer stressed.
It is unknown how many people watched the ceremony around the world but the Nielsen data and Ratings Company estimated 31 million people watched the event on television within the US – less than the Obama or Ronald Reagan inaugurations.