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Trump’s press secretary lied his first day on the job and became a viral meme

Kellyanne Conway called Sean Spicer’s lies “alternative facts.”

Press Secretary Sean Spicer Holds Briefing At White House Alex Wong / Getty Images

Sean Spicer lied at his first press conference as the new White House spokesman yesterday, where he took to the lectern to blame outdoor floor coverings for giving the appearance of low attendance at Trump’s inauguration ceremony.

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” Spicer told reporters. But aerial photographs comparing the turnout at President Obama’s inauguration and Trump’s show massively more people in attendance in 2009.

Spicer also lied in saying Trump’s inauguration makes the first time in American history that floor coverings were used to protect the grass on the National Mall. In fact, as a journalist pointed out on Twitter, there were floor coverings laid in 2013 during Obama’s ceremony. Getty likewise has a photograph of the 2013 floor coverings archived.

As commenters on social media digested these untruths coming direct from the White House, Spicer quickly turned into a meme for people to share blatant lies of their own. And the result was, of course, hilarious.

Spicer’s unscheduled press briefing lasted only five minutes, but in that stretch of time, he managed to pack in five lies and chastise journalists multiple times.

On the morning news today, Donald Trump’s campaign strategist Kellyanne Conway said that Spicer wasn’t lying, but rather presenting “alternative facts” — yet multiple outlets have been able to verify the falsity of Spicer’s statements.

Listen to the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka to hear what New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen has to say about how the press should cover a presidential administration that frequently contradicts itself.

This article originally appeared on

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