Pres. Donald Trump said on Saturday that the media is lying about his sparsely-attended inauguration.
In a speech and photo op at CIA Headquarters, the newly sworn in chief executive said that when he turned on the television Saturday morning, "one of the networks" showed "an empty field."
"I said, 'Wait a minute, I made a speech.' I looked out. The field was...it looked like a million, a million and a half people," Trump said. "They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. They said, 'Donald Trump did not draw well.'"
He went on, "It looked honestly like a million and a half people, whatever it was, it was, but it went all the way back to the Washington Monument and I turn on, by mistake, I get this network, and it showed an empty field. Said we drew 250,000 people. Now, that's not bad. But it's a lie. We had 250,000 people."
In fact, it appears Trump did not draw well. Images taken from the air showed a sparse crowd, especially when compared to Barack Obama's inaugural celebrations.
Newsweek said, "As of 11 a.m. ET on Friday, Metro counted 193,000 rides, less than half the 513,000 it counted in 2009 and far fewer than the 317,000 it did for Obama’s second inauguration, in 2013."
Those figures would square with current crowd size estimates of around 250,000 attendees.
By contrast, Saturday's Women's March on Washington pushed the number of pre-11 a.m. Metro riders up to 275,000, giving an early indication that more protesters than supporters turned out for Trump's inaugural weekend.
Metro Ridership as of 11am: 275k. For comparison, that's more than 8x a normal Sat & even busier than most weekdays. #wmata #womensmarch— Metro (@Metro) 1485015656.0
Watch the video, embedded below via CNN:
President Trump on crowd size at inauguration: “It looked like a million and a half people.” https://t.co/U5pWhBBMzt https://t.co/NX6vI6UTHR— CNN (@CNN) 1485030904.0