At his first White House press briefing, Sean Spicer—Trump's gum-swallowing, Dippin' Dots–hating press secretary—defended the widely criticized claim he made Saturday that the president scored the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period—both in person and around the globe."
"At the time, the information that I was provided by the inaugural committee came from an outside agency that we reported on," Spicer said. "It wasn't like we made them up in thin air."
Although those initially reported numbers were false, Spicer went on to argue that among the thousands in the crowd in DC on Friday, the millions who caught it on TV, and the "tens of millions" who watched the event online, more people viewed Trump's inauguration than any other in history.
"It's unquestionable," Spicer said. "I don't think there's any question that it was the largest watched inauguration ever."
According to photographic evidence and Metro ridership numbers, more people attended both of President Obama's inaugurations than Trump's. Nielsen ratings were also higher for Obama's first inauguration, at 37.8 million viewers, compared to Trump's 30.6 million. Trump's very own "alternative facts" defender, Kellyanne Conway, tweeted that data herself on Monday.
"I believe we have to be honest with the American people," Spicer said Monday. "But I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts."