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President Donald Trump told the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at their headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on Saturday that he is engaged in “a running war” with the “dishonest media,” noting that their latest lies include misleading reports about the size of the crowd at his swearing-in ceremony on Friday.
“And the reason you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” Trump said.
The approximately 400 CIA employees broke out into applause after Trump said this.
In addition to making it seem, falsely, like he was in a feud with the intelligence community, Trump said the media “showed an empty field” during his inauguration.
“We had a massive field of people. You saw that, packed,” Trump said. He then noted that when he woke up Saturday morning, he turned on the TV and noticed, “I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks and they show 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. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. And they said, ‘Donald Trump did not draw well.'”
He added, “We have something that’s amazing because we had it looked — honestly, it looked 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 [the tv], and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field.”
“So, we caught them,” he said. “And we caught them in a beauty, and I think they’re going to pay a big price.”
Trump went on to note yet another lie perpetuated by the media. Specifically, Zeke Miller of Time magazine falsely reported that Trump removed the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office. The bust of the esteemed, late civil rights leader was never removed.
(President Barack Obama had removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office shortly after he moved in and replaced it with MLK Jr.’s).
“In the Oval Office, there’s a beautiful statue of Dr. Martin Luther King,” Trump said. “And, I also happen to like Churchill… He doesn’t come from our country, but had a lot do with it. He helped us, real ally.” Trump had requested that Churchill’s bust be replaced in the Oval Office upon his move into the White House.
“But there was a cameraman that was right in front of it. So Zeke, Zeke from Time Magazine” wrote a fake news story, Trump said. “I would never do that. I have great respect for Dr. Martin Luther King. And it was right there. But this is how dishonest the media is.”
Trump added, “I love honesty. I like honest reporting.”
And finally, he told the CIA, “I love you. I respect you. There’s nobody I respect more. you’re going to do a fantastic job. And we are going to start winning again, and you are going to lead the charge. Thank you. I’ll be back.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also pointed out the lies perpetuated by the media during his emergency press conference Saturday.
“Some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting,” Spicer said. “Photographs of the Inauguration proceeding were intentionally framed in a way to minimize the enormous support it had gathered on the National Mall,” he said.
He noted earlier how Miller of Time magazine “falsely tweeted out that the bust of MLK, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. “This was just plain wrong.”