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White House Vows To Fight Media ‘Tooth And Nail’ Over (Accurate) Coverage

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White House Vows To Fight Media ‘Tooth And Nail’ Over (Accurate) Coverage


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House vowed on Sunday to fight the news media “tooth and nail” over what it sees as unfair attacks, with a top adviser saying the Trump administration had presented “alternative facts” to counter low inauguration crowd estimates.

On his first full day as president, Trump said he had a “running war” with the media and accused journalists of underestimating the number of people who turned out Friday for his swearing-in.

White House officials made clear no truce was on the horizon on Sunday in television interviews that set a much harsher tone in the traditionally adversarial relationship between the White House and the press corps.

“The point is not the crowd size. The point is the attacks and the attempt to delegitimize this president in one day. And we’re not going to sit around and take it,” Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Fox News Sunday.

The sparring with the media has dominated Trump’s first weekend in office, eclipsing debate over policy and Cabinet appointments.

It was the main theme at the Republican president’s first visit to the CIA, at the press secretary’s first media briefing and in senior officials’ first appearances on the Sunday talk shows.

Together, they made clear the administration will continue to take an aggressive stance with news organizations covering Trump.

“We’re going to fight back tooth and nail every day and twice on Sunday,” Priebus said.

He repeated White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s assertions on Saturday that the media manipulated photographs of the National Mall to make the crowds on Friday look smaller than they really were.

Aerial photographs showed the crowds were significantly smaller than when Barack Obama took over as president in 2009.

The Washington subway system said it had 193,000 riders by 11 a.m. on Friday, compared with 513,000 at that time during the 2009 inauguration.

Spicer’s categorical assertion that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period” was widely challenged in media reports citing crowd count experts and was lampooned on social media as well.

Asked on NBC’s Meet the Press why the press secretary was uttering provable falsehoods, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway fired back.

“If we are going to keep referring to our press secretary in those types of terms I think that we are going to rethink our relationship here,” she said.

Conway responded to criticism that the new administration was focusing on crowds rather than on significant domestic and foreign policy issues by saying: “We feel compelled to go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there.”

Priebus and Conway focused on a press pool report that said the bust of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office after Trump took office. The report on Friday night was quickly corrected, but Trump called out the reporter by name during a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency on Saturday. Spicer also berated the reporter later in the day.

With the Nov. 8 election results shadowed by U.S. intelligence reports of Russian meddling on his behalf, Trump has bristled at reports suggesting his popular support is soft and that the election was not legitimate.

Trump, who lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes, made no mention of Russia in his first visit to the CIA on Saturday. He praised his nominee to head the agency, Mike Pompeo, and ranted against the “dishonest” media, a favorite target during his presidential campaign.

The president accused the media of fabricating his tensions with the U.S. intelligence community, despite his frequent posts on Twitter that derided the agencies.

Trump drew criticism from Democrats as well as former CIA Director John Brennan for his remarks at the agency, where he spoke before a memorial wall with stars representing personnel killed in action.

“President Trump ought to realize he’s not campaigning anymore. He’s president,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on ABC’s This Week.

“Instead of talking about how many people showed up at his inauguration, he ought to be talking about how many people are going to stay in the middle class and move into the middle class.”

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Paul Simao)

IMAGE: President Donald Trump leaves the President’s Room of the Senate at the Capitol after he formally signed his cabinet nominations into law, in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 20, 2017. He is joined by his wife Melania Trump and daughter Tiffany Trump. At far right is Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. REUTERS/J. Scott Applewhite/Pool


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  1. PrecipitousDrop January 23, 2017

    Alternative facts?
    Does this mean I can put in some “alternative facts” on my federal flood insurance application to get a better rate? The next time IRS sends an audit letter, can I just rest easy because any disputed number is just an “alternative fact”?
    Or, is stuff like that still FRAUD?

    1. Eleanore Whitaker January 23, 2017

      I was thinking that too on my federal income tax forms for last year. After all, the Baron of BS doesn’t even bother to file taxes and when he has the number were “alternative facts.”

      The right wing hates it that now we are going to do to them what they did to us for the past 8 years. Obstruct, revolt, resist and refuse in any way to cooperate with them.

      To show what a coward Paul Ryan is, he got such a deluge of phone calls, email and mail that he is now refusing to accept any of these. So, yesterday, his home address was all over Facebook. These are grown men? This is what we pay their salaries for?

      1. jmprint January 23, 2017

        Our way of saying “Don’t fck with American citizens.

        1. Eleanore Whitaker January 23, 2017

          Amen to that. It is going to get worse for the Baron of BS before it gets better. That sulky puss of his reminds me of a pouty 2 year old who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and then Mommy spanked.

    2. jmprint January 23, 2017

      …but, Trump is king of fraud,

  2. Kate Foster January 23, 2017

    Marvin. if you think Dana `s comment is good… on tuesday I got myself themselves a Jaguar XJ from receiving $4331 this-past/month or even a lot more ten-k this past-month. with-out a doubt this is actually the easiest-job I have ever before had. I started doing this 8-months before and almost straightaway started out to bring home at least $81.. per hour. Find the facts…>> https://www.facebook.com/Tina-E-King-610592265811198/app/208195102528120/

  3. FireBaron January 23, 2017

    Yep. Teflon Donnie is gonna fight tooth and nail to only allow the press to publish the “truth” that he wants us to believe. Don’t worry about pesky things like facts that dispute those “truths”. As long as we have “alternative facts” available from the White House, we will be ok.

  4. Mama Bear January 23, 2017

    This is so completely absurd there are no words. Get a copy of Alice in Wonderland, smoke a joint and go down that rabbit hole of the Trump world. I am curious as to how long the Republican Party will continue to act like he is normal and nothing wrong with what he says and does. That will show us if there is one single person in Congress or Senate that has any personal honor left.

    1. joeg2028 January 23, 2017

      ” I am curious as to how long the Republican Party will continue to act
      like he is normal and nothing wrong with what he says and does. That
      will show us if there is one single person in Congress or Senate that
      has any personal honor left.”

      That’s not really a question you want answered, is it?

      1. Mama Bear January 23, 2017

        Yes. Is it, unfortunately. And just this morning the slight ray of Republican sunshine bent over to the pressure – Rubio in case you wonder who I am referring to. He actually was showing signs of a glimmer of honor. Not to be. I am a pragmatist and always think it is best to know exactly what I am dealing with and not what I wish I was dealing with.

    2. jmprint January 23, 2017

      It’s not Trump running the US, it’s Ryan, it’s his agenda.

    3. PrecipitousDrop January 23, 2017

      How long will it take for saner heads to rule the current GOP?
      Please, Mama!
      Don’t hold your breath. We need you.

      1. Mama Bear January 23, 2017

        try to be as objective as you can….close your eyes and try to have an out of body experience (if you are female then remember those from any trip to the OB/GYN)….do you really believe there are “saner heads” in the GOP? or are they all just so drunk with power no one is capable?

        1. dbtheonly January 23, 2017

          I’ll put my money on “drunk with power”.

        2. PrecipitousDrop January 24, 2017

          Well, saner heads used to lead the GOP:
          But a radical faction coined the term RINO in the 1990s, and it’s been Open Season on moderate Republicans ever since.
          Objectivity is a worthy goal and you are, as ever, wise counsul.
          Unfortunately, a felonious lunatic has been installed in our nation’s highest office. The House of Representatives is similarly infested (see: Gohmert, Blackburn, Brooks, et al). Too many Governorships and Statehouses are jammed with these kooks.
          From here on, the only good answer is ceaseless, thundering dissent.

          1. Mama Bear January 24, 2017

            God I love the way you said that! “ceaseless, thundering dissent”

  5. Eleanore Whitaker January 23, 2017

    First of all, the First Amendment protects Free Press. So there in nothing Mr. Bully Basher Baron of BS can do. All he is doing is pissing off more and more people with that Republican FORCE attitude. He doesn’t FORCE US…WE FORCE him.

    You’ll notice he kept his big, fat, nasty bitchy boy mouth shut about all those protestors except to try and make it appear they were all supporters. Even that he lies about. When the signs so many were carry were so easy to read and so ANTI TRUMP?

    What this moron wants is total government control. The more he brags about how easily he won that election, the guiltier he and the Republicans begin to look and the more the rest of us ask “WHY” was it so easy? Too easy.

    1. Mama Bear January 23, 2017

      He is now king of the universe in his mind and everyone needs to acknowledge that or he will continue to rant and lie. I am thinking that about 3 weeks of this and he might just stroke out.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker January 23, 2017

        So he thinks. Too too many Americans are angered by his utterly childish behavior. It is a tribute to his mental insanity that his followers will follow him for the almighty dollar.

        I agree…Right now, he thinks he is sweet talking the CIA he trashed not 3 weeks ago. Already Ryan is getting a taste of the angry population. His private home address was blasted all over Facebook yesterday.

        I agree…3 weeks of this and the CIA will have concrete proof of his treason. He cannot dare to set up any meetings with a country that hacked into our elections. It matters not that the right wing refuses to accept this. President Obama had the CIA proof or he wouldn’t have placed sanctions on Russia. If Trump dares to subvert those sanctions and sidles up to Putin, we’ve got him on charges of treason for “adhering” to the enemy and for “giving aid and comfort” as the U.S. Constitution clearly defines treason.

      2. dbtheonly January 23, 2017

        Before the election we talked about Lewis’, “It Can’t Happen Here”.

        Now, I need to remind you that the Department of Truth soon will eliminate those doctored pictures of Big Brother’s inauguration that were planted by the agents of Goldstein. They’ll be replaced by the accurate pictures showing the 70 million loyal followers there to cheer on the Leader.

        Alternate Facts. Tell me you don’t see it.

        1. Mama Bear January 23, 2017

          of course I do and it scares me to death. I am still thinking stroke.

          1. dbtheonly January 23, 2017

            Do you really think “Restroom Pence” would be better?

            Less likely to launch nuclear Armageddon. More likely to impose the views of the Religious Reich and Radical Rich. You call it.

        2. PrecipitousDrop January 23, 2017

          Sean Spicer is giving a press conference.
          He just announced Gen. John Kelly, ret., will be sworn in, on Wednesday, as Director of Homeland Security. On Thursday, Gen. James Mattis, ret., will be sworn in as Secretary of Defense.
          Two generals — not civilians — will be in charge of the US Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, ICE, FEMA, CIA, NSA, and several others: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Department%20Org%20Chart_0.pdf
          After Thursday, declaring Martial Law will be as easy as flipping a switch.

          1. dbtheonly January 23, 2017

            I’d have to look it up. But I recall “Mad Dog” had some relation to the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used in Iraq when he was there. I’ll check tomorrow.

      3. David Brauer January 23, 2017

        Been a tough last couple of months, huh?

        1. Mama Bear January 23, 2017

          nope. been enjoying all of the wonderful things in my life. How ’bout you?

      4. Sterling Harris January 23, 2017


    2. Sundance98 January 23, 2017

      *Do not be surprised if after trying to fire everyone on every news channel that doesn’t like him….to tries to refute and pervert the 1st Amendment as we now know it. He didn’t even have the courage to say: “I love Fox News!” “These are my people!”……”They are very wonderful people!”

      1. Eleanore Whitaker January 24, 2017

        At this last “press conference” the only journalists the Cowardly Money Messiah allowed to ask questions were those who work for one of Murdoch’s media outlets.

        He can’t fire anyone on any news channel for one reason. He would be violating their right to business ownership. If he does that, his own business would be as vulnerable.

        He loves Fox News and Rupert Murdoch more. That Australian geezer should have been deported decades ago when he publicly stated that the only reason he “became an American is for the money.”

        The problem for the Baron of BS is that the more he tries to be the only voice of the people, the more rage he inspires in the people who know they cannot and will not allow him that power.

        Men like him get strung up in public places or deported. In his case, Siberia would be my choice. He loves Russia so much? Siberia it is.

  6. Sundance98 January 23, 2017

    *So, when you live in an Alternative Fantasy World, in an Alternative Consciousness and Lifesyle, and a Alternative Reality…..it isn’t that tough to say anything, do anything and be anything but what you are! Alternative Facts?….are mere child’s play for this Winner! Winning!!! Pay people to show up for your rallys? Hope these people all made Trump pay for their SAG/AFTRA cards…..Don’t be cheap Donnie….that is only $2500 a person.
    If you would have paid for the million folks that supposedly showed up for Inauguration, that would have only been $250 million bucks to set the record that Obama broke last time. Oh well, just like most Richy Rich…..you are basically very cheap…eh?

    1. Eleanore Whitaker January 23, 2017

      The Messiah of Moolah has always lived in Alternative Fantasy Land. In his sick mentally defective mind, all he has to do is pretend it away.

      First of all, any attempts by him to fight the media are for naught. PBS is supported by thousands of private donors this moron has no control over. Not to mention those charitable trusts that are privately managed for these public broadcasting stations.

      He is in for a fall and he knows it. 900,000 protestors who are already so fed up with him trying to be the ONLY authority in this country with his tyrannical traitor Republican Party might just cause the first US Spring into a very very militant population unwilling to be under anyone’s thumb on their tax dollars.

      1. Sundance98 January 23, 2017

        *On Top of Prayer…we also need all those great women to put their feet right on the back of his neck….at every turn. The boy is a flying cockroach that must not only be pinned to the wall, but……taken down only with a very concerted effort.

    2. Mama Bear January 23, 2017

      this is the world of a Narcissistic Personality. My mother-in-law is exactly like Trump in every way. It is so like an acid trip back in the 70’s. And you dare not even act like you are going to correct her or she starts a rant on you. He is textbook. He is sick.

  7. FT66 January 23, 2017

    Stand your ground media and fight the lies this new administration is coming with and without any shame, putting them out. Aren’t they aware that no one ever get a second chance to undo the first impression? Their first day in power was totally horrible, chaos, lies flying everywhere and so on and so forth. No one is interested in lies and the media must hold them accountable. I was extremely happy yesterday, watching journalists like: Chuck Todd, Chris Wallace really doing their jobs as it is supposed to be. Keep it up guys.

    1. Sundance98 January 23, 2017

      We agree 100%, Arie Fleischer was putting out the typical apology for his conduct and misrepresentations on CBS this Morning.. Calling him “Authentic”. There is absolutely nothing American or Authentic in this guys character. Nothing that we have found, just yet!

    2. David Brauer January 23, 2017

      You mean lies like “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and “the average family will safe $2,500 under O’Bama-Care”???

      1. Jinmichigan January 24, 2017

        Again, with the only one have. Calling this a lie is a real stretch.

  8. ivory69690@yahoo.com January 23, 2017

    a war with the media is the war DONNY DUMP started him self it’s all to block out the truth . for he lie’s like a rug (all the time ) he want to block the media the same way he always settles suits against him he puts in the lawsuit’s settlements that the people cant talk or say anything to anyone about the lawsuits if thy do then he get his money back . he is a scumbag . freedom of the press and speech will be suing him . he cant block the truth . no matter how much he lies . and now the clown is string up the BULL over in Israel he say’s he want to defeat ISIS well DUMPSTER hear full of BULL CRAP you are only feeding ISIS ands making more people join them . your recruiting for ISIS . you don’t care you just seek any kind of attention . your worse then a problem child . your addiction like a junky that fix is only ATTENTION (good or bad don’t matter ) a lot of lives will be on your call in Israel and heck all over the middle east and maybe the world . you being the air head you are im sure your plans are to sent American troops over there . their blood will be on your hands as all the lives that are loss for your addiction of seeking attention . and your recruiting your press secretary and the blonde bimbo Conway to do your lying for you . crying about how many people was in Washington . that’s childish . you want NUMBERS country the people that protest around the world that hate you and what you stand for those are true number . your brain dead followers are the same minded people that followers Nazi sympathizers Hitler lovers and ISIS them self all with so much hate and evil in them the sickest of the sick . KIND OF JUST LIKE YOU DONNY DUMP you are what followers you

  9. ivory69690@yahoo.com January 23, 2017

    MEDIA you are one party not like the DEMS &REPS your just the MEDIA your job is to post the truth . yes a harder job for you with DONNY DUMP the DUMPSTER in the house . for there is no truth he knows of or tells

  10. jmprint January 23, 2017

    “The point is the attacks and the attempt to delegitimize this president in one day. And we’re not going to sit around and take it,” Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said” I think Russia already took care of delegitimizing Trumpf.

  11. johninPCFL January 23, 2017

    “It was the main theme at the Republican president’s first visit to the CIA”

    So, while standing before a wall imprinted with stars representing those nameless patriots who have given their lives for us, Agent Orange says, and I quote here:” Waaaaahhh Waaaaahhh. they’re being mean to me!!!! Waaahhhh Waaaaahhh!!!.”

    1. Mama Bear January 23, 2017

      yep….Trump’s only stream of consciousness is “me-me-me-me-me-me”

  12. Sterling Harris January 23, 2017


    1. David Brauer January 23, 2017

      You can’t be serious – He is trying to hold the media to reporting F A C T S, not propaganda and this is “mad”???

      1. Sterling Harris January 23, 2017


        1. David Brauer January 23, 2017

          Such as: “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” and “the average family will save $2,500 under O’Bama-Care”???

          1. Sterling Harris January 23, 2017

            I have a outstanding Doctor and great Insurance. There are those like yourself who also have Good insurance

          2. Jinmichigan January 24, 2017

            Funny, that’s the only one you CONS can come up with.

      2. Sterling Harris January 23, 2017

        He was An Idiot speaking to CIA on Saturday disrespecting Them all.

        Last year, while working at the Department of Defense, I went to the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency for some meetings. On my way out, one of my Agency colleagues asked me if I had ever visited the Memorial Wall, which I had passed on the way in. I had not, and we walked over.

        The Memorial Wall is one of the most haunting memorials I have ever seen in the U.S. federal government—more unsettling than any military cemetery I have visited, from Gettysburg to Normandy. Below the famous anonymous stars themselves sits a book that explains the year each star was added and, sometimes, offers the name of the Agency case officer or analyst killed. Some stars—even some stars going back decades, to the height of the Cold War—do not have a name that accompanies them.

        It is sobering to realize that each of those stars on that wall represent hundreds of men and women who had the courage to do what I could not bring myself to do: leave their friends and family and sign up for one of the most lonely, demanding jobs in the U.S. government—all with the knowledge that if they were caught, they faced not only torture and a gruesome death but the prospect that their families might never learn how or why they died.

        That’s why the Agency employees with whom I spoke over the weekend were appalled by the president’s speech—that he would cheapen the most sacred space at the Agency, that their leadership would allow it to happen, and that some of their co-workers would disgrace themselves and the Agency by raucously applauding lines from a stump speech.

        It’s tough to place too much blame on the Agency’s leadership: Their position with the new president is tenuous, at best. The Agency needs some very important things from the president. It needs him to take his daily briefing, and to take seriously—and keep quiet about—the clandestine operations for which the Agency puts the lives of Americans at grave danger. There is little reason for optimism thus far that the president will deliver on either requirement.

        But while it’s tough for anyone to say no to the boss—especially when placed at such a disadvantage up front—the Agency’s leadership is going to encounter a staff today that is livid with the way in which the speech was delivered. The fact the speech was given on a Saturday, when only those Agency employees most enthusiastic about the new president would come in off their weekends, will also be a point of dissatisfaction. For those who weren’t there or for the leaders sitting in the front row, some may feel they were made to look a fool, seeing their Agency turned into another campaign rally and hearing their professionalism questioned—yet again—by the media.

      3. Jinmichigan January 24, 2017

        If he is trying to hold the media to reporting facts, why would anyone believe him when he lies constantly? You love the trump* Kool Aide.

  13. Sterling Harris January 23, 2017

    President Donald Trump’s campaign was a testament to the power of fear and hatred. He pandered to racial prejudices, stoked xenophobia and fueled class resentments. He showed himself to be temperamentally incapable of moderation, unfamiliar with prudence and contemptuous of truth.(Unhinged)
    A narcissist who lacks even a modicum of self-control, he has been unable or unwilling to give up his habit of aiming his injudicious tweets at every criticism. He blasts the news media; he publicly castigates national security officials; he bucks centuries-old traditions of comity and respect for rivals. No doubt, he will continue to salt our civic wounds, inflame our differences and fuel our sense of grievance. It is hard to imagine a president less capable of leading in these turbulent times.


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