Sean Spicer Compares 'Alternative Facts' to Conflicting Weather Reports
The White House press secretary made the comments on Fox News.
Byby DAVID CAPLAN
January 25, 2017, 7:04 AM
• 3 min read
-- Sean Spicer has shed some light on the concept of "alternative facts," a widely panned concept introduced by his colleague Kellyanne Conway to defend his seemingly inaccurate inauguration attendance numbers.
According to the White House press secretary, his use of "alternative facts" is much ado about nothing. He says it's similar to a meteorologist who incorrectly predicts the weather.
"The press was trying to make it seem like we were ignoring the facts," Spicer told Fox News' Sean Hannity during an interview that aired Tuesday night. "The facts are, sometimes when you look at a situation, in the same way that you can look at a weather report. One weather report comes out and says it's going to be cloudy, and another says it's going to be light rain. No one lied to you. It just means you interpreted the data in a way that you felt got you to a conclusion."
Spicer claimed, "We weren't by any means trying to mislead anyone. We asked for a set of facts. We thought that the group [that provided subway ridership figures] and the facts that we were given at that time were accurate. Like anything else, it's not alternative facts. There's — sometimes you can watch two different stations and get two different weather reports. That doesn't mean that the station was lying to you. And the press made it look like we were ignoring the facts. "
On Saturday, Spicer told reporters that Friday's inauguration attracted "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe" after several media outlets published photos side by side of the National Mall comparing the turnout for Trump's inauguration and Barack Obama's in 2009.
During an TV interview the following day, Conway, a counselor to the president, said Spicer "gave alternative facts" to the press about the number of attendees.
And Spicer remained defiant about his claim, telling Hannity, "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. 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."