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Secret Service slaps down White House claim that ‘magnetometers’ shrank inaugural crowd size

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At a testy Saturday evening press conference, newly minted White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer offered a pair of novel defenses for the apparent small size of the crowds attending the inauguration of Pres. Donald Trump.

“This was the first time in our nation’s history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the [National] Mall,” Spicer said. “That had the effect of highlighting any areas where people were not standing, while in years past the grass eliminated this visual. This was also the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past.”

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However, CNN’s Jim Acosta spoke with a representative of the U.S. Secret Service, who said “no magnetometers were used on the National Mall for Trump’s inauguration.”

Acosta also posted photos of workers laying down ground covers to protect the grass on the National Mall in January of 2013, disproving Spicer’s claim that the Trump inauguration was the first use of ground covers.

Twitter users continued apace to mock and deride the White House’s spin effort.

CNN discussion:

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‘Anyone who tried to impact outcome of election should spend life in jail’: Lewandowski

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On Tuesday, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Lewandowski's appearance before Congress was significant because Donald Trump reportedly told him to tell Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller's Russia probe.

Lewandowski was defiant in his opening statement, slamming the investigation as biased and knocking Hillary Clinton. He also declared that any entity that tried to meddle in a U.S. election should be in prison.

He said that he handled as many as a thousand emails. "And unlike Hillary Clinton, I don't think I ever deleted any of those," Lewandowski said. "Many of them were either responded to with one-word answers or floated to other staff for additional follow-up. But throughout it all, and to the best of my recollection, I don't recall ever having any conversations with foreign entities, let alone any who were operating to manipulate the outcome of an election."

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American neo-Nazis now see 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden as a role model: report

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A new report from Vice claims that white supremacist organizations are increasingly viewing Osama Bin Laden, the late mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as a role model whose actions can influence the future of their movement.

The report finds that neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division has recently started using Bin Laden's image in its propaganda while also promoting Islamist extremists' willingness to commit mass murder in the name of their religion as something that should be inspiring to American white nationalists.

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REVEALED: The Saudis have also been pumping cash into Trump’s infamous Scotland golf resort

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It's not just the American military whose members have been spending cash at President Donald Trump's golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland.

Politico reports that "a group of Saudi royals stayed at the resort for about a week at the tail end of extended travel" and that they brought "a party of 25 people and more than a hundred pieces of luggage."

This is not the first time that Saudi officials have plugged money into Trump properties.

As Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold has documented, members of the Saudi government have also helped prop up flagship Trump hotels in New York and Chicago since his election.

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