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Trump tried to force National Park Service to verify his false numbers about crowd size: report

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New President Donald Trump is so preoccupied with the size of his inauguration crowd that he reportedly asked the National Park Service to back him up on his estimations.

According to a report from The Washington Post, three people with knowledge of the conversation alleged that Trump called National Park Service director Michael Reynolds on Saturday and asked for new aerial photographs of the crowd during the inauguration.

The Post reports that Trump believed other photos were inaccurate and there might be others that could prove his personal estimations. Saturday was also the day that Trump made a speech at CIA headquarters that discussed the size of his inauguration.

“I get up this morning and I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field,” Trump said. “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 … it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.”

Press Secretary Sean Spicer also fought back against any calculations that didn’t match with the Trump estimations. He alleged that crowd photos didn’t show an accurate representation because the Secret Service was using “magnetometers” it took people longer to get into the grounds. The Secret Service released a statement saying they did not use magnetometers.

At the same time, crowds of people were spilling out of the designated protest areas for the Women’s March on Washington, which had significantly higher attendance than organizers had anticipated. By the time the march was scheduled to begin, the crowd was so large that the entire march path was filled with women.

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Trump was provided with new photos, but like the ones before, they did not verify his own estimations.

The Post also noted that Trump was unhappy with tweets sent out from the Park Service that compared the 2017 crowd to former President Barack Obama’s 2009 crowd.

CNN brought in crowd-scientists to create an accurate count of the size of the crowds and determined that Trump’s was much smaller than President Obama’s.

Spicer eventually shifted the White House statement and claimed that Trump meant it was larger because he was adding those viewing on television as well. When ratings numbers didn’t back those numbers up, the White House claimed they weren’t accurately counting online viewers.

There were also reports this week that Trump was “visibly enraged” by the size of the Women’s March on Washington crowd.

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Here’s why Trump and Putin are only frenemies at this point

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President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran has hit an obstacle: Russia.

While the United States insists that Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in international airspace last week, Russia rejected the charge on Tuesday and supported Iran’s claim that the Global Hawk drone with a 116-foot wingspan was shot down over Iranian territory.

A top Russian official stated Moscow’s intelligence findings at a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, according to Haaretz, the Israeli daily.

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2020 Election

How the GOP is embracing more ruthless power grabs in the face of huge political challenges

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On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases highlighting the collision between partisan power grabs and setting the ground rules for two of the most important elections in America—those for U.S. House and state legislative chambers.

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

One ruling concerns whether the Trump administration can add a question to the 2020 census that asks if anyone residing in that address is not a U.S. citizen. The other concerns whether hyper-partisanship is unconstitutional when state legislatures run by a single party draw electoral districts to maximize their party’s likelihood of winning elections.

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Hope Hicks may have implicated Jared Kushner in a coverup

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Former White House communications director Hope Hicks frustrated Democrats last week when she refused to answer multiple questions about her time in the White House.

However, Mother Jones' David Corn and Dan Friedman noticed one bit of Hicks's testimony that shines a negative light on Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

When asked about her false statement in December 2016 that there had been no contact between members of the Trump campaign and Russian government officials, Hicks said she consulted several top officials who worked for the campaign before making the statement, including Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon -- and Jared Kushner.

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