White house press secretary’s upset declaration the the media faked low attendance does no stack up against photos, videos and public transport figures


Crowds top top the nationwide Mall just before Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017 (left) and also Barack Obama’s in 2009. Photograph: Reuters
Crowds top top the nationwide Mall just before Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017 (left) and Barack Obama’s in 2009. Photograph: Reuters

Photographs of the national Mall in Washington DC and public transport figures for the city flatly contradict Sean Spicer’s angry insistence the Donald Trump drew “the biggest audience ever before to witness one inauguration, period, both in person and also around the globe”.

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In his blistering debut together White house press secretary on Saturday, Spicer accused journalists of reporting inaccurate crowd numbers and using misrepresentative photographs “to minimise the enormous support” the he declared the brand-new president delighted in at his swearing-in.

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Trump push secretary Sean Spicer slams ‘dishonest’ media for inaugural coverage Guardian
“No one had numbers due to the fact that the nationwide Park Service, i beg your pardon controls the national Mall, does no put any out,” that said, prior to going ahead anyway to declare the Trump had actually attracted “the biggest audience ever to witness one inauguration” in person and also in the world.

“These attempts come lessen the enthusiasm because that the inauguration room shameful and wrong.”

Crowd estimates can be fraught with challenge and there is certainly no main figure. However images that the nationwide Mall on Friday contradicted Spicer’s assertions – specifically when compared with pictures from Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and also the turnout because that the Women’s march on Saturday.

A timelapse video clip produced by PBS indicates that the national Mall to be never full at any kind of stage top top Friday:

Meanwhile, photographs show the nationwide Mall packed v crowds just prior to Obama’s inauguration in 2009 – however much an ext sparsely covered with human being just prior to Trump’s ceremony.

Interactive slider reflecting Obama’s inauguration crowd with Trump’s. By: David Constable because that the Guardian

The new York Times estimated that trump had attracted a crowd of about one-third the size of Obama’s, i beg your pardon was thought to it is in a document turnout the 1.8 million.


Crowds ~ above the national Mall just before Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017 (left) and also Barack Obama’s in 2009. Photograph: ReutersAccording to figures shared by the metro Washington subway device on Twitter, 193,000 trips had actually been take away by 11am on Donald Trump’s inauguration day, contrasted with 513,000 during the same duration on 20 January 2009 once Barack Obama take it office.

“Ridership” together of 11am ~ above Saturday stood in ~ 275,000: an ext than eight time a regular Saturday and also “even busier than many weekdays”, the metro tweeted.

— subway (
wmata) January 20, 2017

Spicer attempted come bolster his discussion by offering whole-day ridership numbers for the metro of 420,000 on Trump’s inaugural day. However, for comparison he supplied a figure of 317,000 which was the ridership figure only up to 11am ~ above the inaugural job of 2013 – when Barack Obama had already been in office four years and attendance was, possibly unsurprisingly, reduced than because that his first inauguration.

Before the inauguration itself, a video clip posted come Twitter by NBC’s Katy Tur proved “entire stands empty” along the parade route.

Parade path from funding to WH. Entire stands empty. Group thin. Pic.twitter.com/7AcpJkBO8O

— Katy Tur (
KatyTurNBC) January 20, 2017

Photos that the vice-president, Mike Pence, do the trip from the Capitol to the White House also suggested sparse crowds.

when camera angles issue pic.twitter.com/PaHFyKPGyE

— shauna (
goldengateblond) January 21, 2017

It is precious noting the Trump drew just 4.1% of the vote in Washington DC and lost the neighboring states that Maryland and also Virginia.

His inauguration additionally occurred on a Friday – a reality that does no go any way towards mitigating the comparisons through Obama’s 2009 inauguration, which fell on a Tuesday, however does contextualise the strong turnout for the Women’s march on Saturday.

CNN tweeted a photograph of the nationwide Mall taken indigenous the national Park Service’s EarthCam top top the Washington Monument when the swearing-in began, simply after noon ET ~ above Friday. Compared with the very same view in ~ the same time top top Saturday throughout the Women’s March, over there is a clear difference in crowds.

Photos taken at 12:15 p.m. ET every day show Trump's inauguration group vs. The #WomensMarch https://t.co/syj3kEAr2t pic.twitter.com/OG61rjQdqd

— CNN (
CNN) January 21, 2017

The connected Press reported that at least 500,000 women had actually turned the end for the Women’s in march on national Mall in ~ 9.40am – an ext than twin the early predictions. There were also sizeable protests against Trump in other cities about the world.

Oh wow. Pic.twitter.com/S9HHT0UBlG

— Judd Legum (
JuddLegum) January 21, 2017

It is uncertain if over there are much more concrete figures to come: according to the associated Press, the nationwide Park service stopped publication official estimates for occasions at the nationwide Mall following a problem over the Million male March in 1995.

The US armed Forces Joint task Force-National Capital region and the joint Congressional Committee, i m sorry organise inaugural proceedings, would certainly not be releasing estimates either.

Politifact reported the crowds in ~ inaugurations differed widely, through Obama elevating an estimated 1 million in 2013, down from 1.8 million in 2009; George W bush drawing 400,000 in 2005 after ~ 300,000 in 2001; and Bill Clinton 800,000 in 1993 then 250,000 in 1997.

President trump criticizes media over inauguration coverage Guardian
Before Spicer’s briefing room tirade top top Saturday, Trump had told an audience at CIA headquarters the he had given his inauguration deal with to a “massive field of civilization … packed”, the estimated, with between 1 million and also 1.5 million people.

To his eye, trump said, the crowd stretched “the 20-block area, all the method back to the Washington Monument” – yet a tv network he didn’t name had actually broadcast a shooting of “an empty field” and also put the group at 250,000.

He went on come say that God had stopped rain from falling during his speech, before adding that he had actually “caught” the news network in a lie: “We caught them in a beauty.

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“And i think they’re walk to salary a big price.”

But the evidence definitely seems to challenge Trump’s assertion that he had drawn a crowd of as numerous as 1.5 million people.

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