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.”
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.”
A USSS spokesperson tells us no magnetometers were used on the National Mall for Trump’s inauguration.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 22, 2017
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.