Donald Trump’s spokespeople are out in full force on this Sunday. Kellyanne Conway first tried to redefine Sean Spicer’s Saturday lies about Inauguration Day crowd size as “alternative facts.” A short while later, Fox News’ Chris Wallace confronted White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus over Trump’s obsession with size. We’re used to Trump being defending his hand size, and now it’s all about his Inauguration Day crowds. It’s an odd thing to focus on, especially when outright falsehoods by a press secretary makes things look even more insane.
Wallace, who armed himself with the notorious 2009/2017 crowd-size comparison photos, wanted to know how Trump’s obsession would Make America Great Again: “How does arguing about crowd size do that?” Priebus responded by saying this is not about crowd size at all:
“Because it’s really not about crowd size. What it’s about is honesty in the media. What it’s about is on Day One after winning this election and President Trump talking about bringing America together … however, the media from Day One has been talking about delegitimizing the election, talking about the Russians, talking about everything you can imagine except for the fact that we need to move this country forward.”
Priebus was referencing how TIME magazine reporter Zeke Miller mistakenly reported (and later corrected himself) that the Martin Luther King, Jr. bust was removed from the Oval Office. Priebus used this error, which was made by one journalist, to justify Trump and Spicer’s lies.
Wallace pointed out that, by making this all about “honesty,” there’s a big issue of Trump’s honesty as well, and that Trump had made two Saturday utterances that “were just flat wrong.” So, Wallace continued what he called “a ridiculous discussion,” which Trump kept alive by (falsely) boasting about crowds that stretched all the way to the Washington Monument. Reince continued to protest, so Wallace grinned, “Okay, put up the picture again.”
After more “apples to apples” arguments from Priebus, Wallace asked if he was saying “a conspiracy” was afoot. Priebus said, “I’m saying there’s an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president.” He promised that the “tooth and nail” fights back would continue every day, which means that Spicer may pull more Baghdad Bob antics and continue to lend a “positively Soviet” air to proceedings.
Then Wallace grilled Priebus over why Trump would — after his CIA meeting — call reports of his feud with U.S. intelligence a “media invention.” He reminded Priebus about how Trump had compared the leaking of the “Golden Showers” dossier to “Nazi Germany” while accusing the U.S. intelligence community of leaking the file. Priebus replied with a straight face that Trump had “a lovefest” with the CIA on Saturday.
In this second clip, Priebus attempted to explain Trump’s morning tweets over the Women’s March on Washington (and elsewhere). Trump wondered aloud, “Why didn’t these people vote?” He also reminded everyone that he won the election (although he did not win the popular vote), but Priebus insisted that Trump will be a president for everyone, even the protesters. Wallace then reminded Trump of his planned divisive actions in the coming week. Oof.