WASHINGTON – Describing journalists as the most dishonest human beings on Earth, US President Donald Trump has warned them of consequences for falsely reporting that a small number of people attended his inauguration.
With Americans taking to the streets in red and blue states alike to emphatically decry a president they consider reprehensible and, even, illegitimate, Trump visited the Central Intelligence Agency on his first day of presidency for a stream-of-consciousness airing of grievances – including against journalists, whom he called “the most dishonest human beings on Earth.”
Trump used his first full day in office to wage war on the media, accusing news organizations of lying about the size of his inauguration crowd as Saturday’s huge protests served notice that a vocal and resolute opposition would be a hallmark of his presidency.
‘War against the media’
Speaking at the CIA headquarters on Saturday afternoon, the new president said he has been “running a war” with the media.
“We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field,” Trump said.
“I say, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there. They (media) said, Donald Trump did not draw well. I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we’re not going to let it rain on your speech,” he said.
“Then I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured. But, we have something that’s amazing because, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument. And I turn on – and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people,” he said.
“Now, that’s not bad, but it’s a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around in the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed. So we caught them, and we caught them in a beauty. I think they’re going to pay a big price,” Trump warned.
During his 2009 inaugural address, President Obama’s crowd extended that far, and a side-by-side comparison of aerial photos from both inaugurations clearly shows that Obama’s crowd was much larger than Trump’s.
‘Differences with CIA’
Donald Trump told his top spy agency that this is the reason for him visiting the CIA headquarters as the media has portrayed that he has differences with the intelligence community.
“The reason you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” Trump said amidst applause and laughter from the CIA officials attending his maiden address to them.
“They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number-one stop is exactly the opposite. They understand that, too,” he said.
Interestingly, he then said that the crowd strength of his inauguration was being accurately being written by the media.
On the other hand, according to Washington Post, former CIA Director John Brennan said through a spokesman that he was angry about Trump’s speech.
“Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes,” Nick Shapiro, a former deputy chief of staff to Brennan, said in a statement. “Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself.”
Brennan resigned on Friday as CIA director at the conclusion of Obama’s presidency.
‘No honeymoon for Trump’
The 44th president, Barack Obama, had urged Americans to give his successor a chance. But Women’s March across the world proves it will be no honeymoon for the 45th president.
The activists who stirred the masses on Saturday vowed to obstruct Trump’s agenda on such issues as health care, climate change, criminal justice, gay rights and access to abortion and birth control.