White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended the concept of "alternative facts" in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity Tuesday night and claimed that his statement about Donald Trump's inauguration audience had been twisted by the mainstream media.
"The press was trying to make it seem like we were ignoring the facts when the facts are that sometimes ... you look at a situation ... in the same way you can look at a weather report," Spicer said on "Hannity." "One weather report comes out and says it's going to be cloudy and the next one says there's going to be light rain. No one lied to you."
Spicer claimed Saturday that Trump attracted "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -- period -- both in person and around the globe" after multiple news outlets published photos unfavorably comparing the National Mall crowd at Friday's swearing-in to that for former President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009. The press secretary was criticized for inflating the number believed to have witnessed the inauguration in person.
The following day, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway told NBC's "Meet The Press" that Spicer "gave alternative facts" to the media narrative about the audience size.
"If you add up the number of people who watched [the inauguration] online, on Twitter, Twitter Live, Facebook Live, on YouTube, it broke all sorts of records," Spicer told "Hannity." "You combine that with what Fox did online, how many people streamed it, 31 million people watched it on the broadcast networks. Combine all that.
"Where are [the mainstream media's] facts? Because I got called a liar for something that I can add up and say, 'Here's how we come up with this number.' And yet, where's the number that [proves] that I'm wrong? In fact, the default was ... 'you're lying.'"