President Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter Saturday, accusing the media of not covering the full story of his swearing-in on Friday.
He said reporters are trying to paint him as a liar and a fraud.
“I am very proud of the fact that our press was totally dishonest with their ratings for me in the early stages of the presidency,” Trump said in a tweet that included a link to a CNN article about the inauguration crowd sizes and how it fell short of the 1 million-plus crowd Trump claimed.
The Fake Media is so dishonest and so dishonest that they did not cover my inauguration!”
Trump’s criticism was part of a broader, but shorter, attack on media coverage that has been mounting over the past few days as Trump seeks to consolidate his legacy.
On Friday, Trump said his inauguration crowd was “the largest ever,” a claim that was immediately disputed by several independent experts.
But as crowds have swelled, Trump has insisted the crowd was far smaller than official counts put the figure at, a figure that has not been independently verified.
“We are seeing crowd sizes that I did not see at any other inauguration,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night.
“We had crowds of 20 million people.
We had crowds as high as 30 million.
Trump, in the Fox interview, also dismissed the idea that the crowd of protesters was so large that it would overwhelm the security and crowd-control systems.””
I have never seen anything like that, and I’m going to keep saying it, because I’m a realist.”
Trump, in the Fox interview, also dismissed the idea that the crowd of protesters was so large that it would overwhelm the security and crowd-control systems.
“That’s a total fabrication,” Trump insisted.
“It was so small that we were able to do the things we did, and then the people who are talking about it, and the crowd that we had, it was so, so, small that I don’t know what they are talking,” Trump added.
“The crowd that I saw was bigger than anything we have ever seen,” Trump continued.
“And it was a total surprise to everybody.
I mean, people were coming in like crazy.
I didn’t even know it was going to be that big.”
In the CNN interview, Trump again disputed the crowd estimates, saying that his inauguration was bigger in many ways than the inauguration of former President Barack Obama in 2009, which had a smaller crowd.
“Well, I was there,” Trump explained.
“But the crowd, I believe, was larger.
And that was my first one.”
Trump did not mention that Obama had a much smaller crowd than his first inauguration, which was also his first in the White House.
And Trump was quick to defend his own inauguration crowd, claiming it was the biggest ever.
Trump is one of a number of presidents who have had their inaugural ceremonies marred by protests and violence.
During his first, in 2009 — when protesters threw rocks and other projectiles at Trump’s motorcade — police said some protesters were hit by police officers.
The crowd of more than 40,000 also was larger than the crowd Trump saw when he first appeared to win the presidency in January.
Trump’s inauguration, however, drew a smaller-than-expected crowd, and his inaugural address in 2017, which he used as a prelude to his inauguration, also drew fewer than his inauguration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.