Spicer promises honesty as Trump’s spokesman

White House press secretary Sean Spicer pledged Monday to tell the truth in his new position while standing by his assertion about a record audience for the presidential inauguration. 

Spicer’s contentious statement from Saturday, when he blasted reporters for “shameful and wrong” reporting about the lackluster attendance for President Trump’s swearing-in, hung heavy over his first official White House briefing.

ABC’s Jonathan Karl confronted Spicer over the statement, asking him if he would “pledge to never knowingly say something that is not factual.”

{mosads}”It’s an honor to do this, and yes, I believe we have to be honest with the American people,” Spicer said.

“I believe sometimes we may disagree on the facts. There are certain things that we may not fully understand when we come out, but our intention is never to lie to you, Jonathan.”

The two men went back and forth over a series of questions in which Karl sought to rehash the Saturday statement and question whether Spicer said anything he wanted to correct.

Spicer said that the public transportation data he was given at the time by the Inaugural Committee ultimately did not mesh with the official statistics, but stood by his assertion that the inauguration was the most-watched ever.

“When you add up attendance, viewership, and total audience on tablets, phones, on television, I’d love to see any information that proves otherwise,” he said.

Spicer argued that the White House should be allowed to correct mistakes just like journalists who can issue corrections or update their stories.

And he accused the media of rushing to judgment and refusing to give the administration the benefit of the doubt, pointing to a erroneous tweet from over the weekend that Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office.

Trump has not removed the bust and the reporter who tweeted the report about it issued an apology.

“There is this attempt to go after this president and say, ‘That can’t be true, that’s not right, the numbers weren’t there,'” Spicer said.

“It’s a two-way street. We want to have a healthy and open dialogue with the press corps and the American people about what he’s doing to help this country…[but] when a tweet goes out in a pool report to a few thousand people saying he removed the bust of Martin Luther King, how do you think that goes over?”

–This report was updated at 2:28 p.m.


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