According to reports, the number of people attending Donald Trump’s Presidential inauguration on Friday was considerably smaller than at Obama’s inaugurations in the past.
The pictures shared on social media show a clear difference. During the January 20 inauguration acres of space were empty while in 2009, 1.8 million people were estimated to have been at the Washington DC’s National Mall to see Trump’s predecessor.
However, the freshly installed president insists that it was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period.”
Trump as well as his press secretary Sean Spicer accused the press of deliberately manipulating the footage from the event to look like his inauguration was not of much interest to the American population.
At his press briefing, Spicer spoke for about 10 minutes, before walking out without taking any questions.
“Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power … some members of the media were engaged in deliberate and false reporting,” he said.
“Photographs of the inauguration process were intentionally framed in a way … to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall,” Spicer continued.
“This was the first time in our nation’s history that floor coverings had been used to protect the grass on the Mall that had the effect highlighting any areas where people were not standing, while in years past, the grass eliminated this visual. This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period – both in person and remote,” the Trump right hand stressed.
However, similar covering were used on the Mall during Mr Obama’s inauguration in 2013.
The more realistic number estimated is of 250,000 attendees, although it is not yet official.
“No one had numbers because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put those out,” Spicer said.
He added that 420,000 people used the DC Metro Transit on Friday, compared to 317,000 who used it for President Obama’s last inauguration in 2013.
It is estimated that 31 million viewers watched TV coverage of President Trump’s inauguration. The number is a lot lover than for Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and 10 million more than his second inauguration in 2013.
The most-watched inauguration since 1969 was President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 first swear-in, which was seen by 41.8 million people.