How did Donald Trump spend his first full day as so-called leader of the so-called free world? Fuming, doing a little media monitoring, watching news coverage of the Women’s March, and fuming some more, apparently.
The Washington Post reports the massive crowds that turned out for the Women’s March on Saturday had our newly anointed President Donald Trump seething with anger. Especially since far more people came to Washington, D.C. to protest than to cheer him on.
According to a secret source inside of the White House, POTUS was “visibly enraged” when he returned to the Oval Office after an interfaith prayer service and saw news footage from the Women’s March.
Trump turned on the television to see a jarring juxtaposition — massive demonstrations around the globe protesting his day-old presidency and footage of the sparser crowd at his inauguration, with large patches of white empty space on the Mall.
As his press secretary, Sean Spicer, was still unpacking boxes in his spacious new West Wing office, Trump grew increasingly and visibly enraged.
That’s right. The throngs of anti-Trump protesters in the capitol and around the globe outnumbered the sparse crowds of Donald Trump’s fans by 3:1. Plus there were the hundreds of thousands more who turned out in other Women’s Marches across the nation. To add insult to injury:
Pundits were dissing his turnout. The National Park Service had retweeted a photo unfavorably comparing the size of his inauguration crowd with the one that attended Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony in 2009.
Trump just ordered the National Park Service to stop tweeting because of this tweet. pic.twitter.com/IygA8ZJkjl
— Chris Maddern (@chrismaddern) January 21, 2017
As it turns out, Crowd experts estimate only 160,000 people came to Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday. Meanwhile Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 drew 1.8 million people, and around 470,000 turned out for the massive Women’s March on Washington protest on Saturday.
— Impeach Donald Trump (@Impeach_D_Trump) January 21, 2017
Donald Trump’s advisers urged him to respond to all the negative reports with a low-key tweet. Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a friend of Trump’s and chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee even offered to give a statement about the crowd size. Alas, WAPO reports:
But Trump was adamant, aides said. Over the objections of his aides and advisers — who urged him to focus on policy and the broader goals of his presidency — the new president issued a decree: He wanted a fiery public response, and he wanted it to come from his press secretary.
That explains why Sean Spicer wound up making an ass out of himself and attacking the media for their accurate reports on the crowd size at Donald Trump’s inauguration. Against all evidence, the hapless aide doubled down and declared.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”
The new president is known for his intense media monitoring when it comes to any news coverage related to him, so he surely knows the truth. And given the way his massive ego needs constant stroking, the scant turnout must surely rankle.
By most standards, Spicer’s statement Saturday did not go well. He appeared tired and nervous in an ill-fitting gray pinstripe suit. He publicly gave faulty facts and figures — which he said were provided to him by the Presidential Inaugural Committee — that prompted a new round of media scrutiny.
But while critics say Sean Spicer went too far and some even say he no longer seems credible, Donald Trump doesn’t think he attacked forcefully enough.
Sorry, Donald. Numbers don’t lie and neither do photos.
— Dan Gross (@DanJGross) January 20, 2017
This despite the fact that Dan Gross, Deputy Communications Director to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, gave a far more generous head count for the inauguration than the estimates from various news outlets and crowd experts.
Crowd count is in:
Trump 2017: 250,000
Obama 2013: 1,000,000
Obama 2009: 1,800,000#Inauguration
— Dan Gross (@DanJGross) January 20, 2017
Donald Trump may love power but he also desperately needs and wants to be admired, honored, and liked. Alas, he’s learning the hard way that when you “win” with no public mandate and then proceed to enact your party’s deeply unpopular agenda, people will hate you for it.
Watch: Donald Trump furious about the huge crowds that turned out for the Women’s March.
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