Spicer compares ‘alternative facts’ controversy to conflicting weather reports

White House press secretary Sean Spicer compared the Trump team’s recent “alternative facts” controversy to conflicting weather reports as he criticized the media for being too quick to paint him as a liar. 

In an appearance Tuesday night on Fox News’ “Hannity,” Spicer defended himself and top President Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, who said Monday that Spicer was presenting “alternative facts” when he claimed Trump’s inauguration drew record-breaking crowds. 

“There are times, like anything else, it’s not alternative facts, it’s that there’s sometimes you can watch two different stations and get two different weather reports. That doesn’t mean the station was lying to you,” Spicer said. 

{mosads}Spicer slammed the media on Saturday for reporting that Trump’s inauguration crowd was smaller than that of President Obama. He claimed that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” as comparison photos of the two crowds spread quickly online. 

Confronted by Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about Spicer’s remark, Conway said Monday he was giving “alternative facts.” 

Spicer said Tuesday he didn’t pull the claim out of thin air but was taking into account those who tuned into the inauguration on TV or online, a total that “broke all sorts of records.”

“The press was trying to make that seem like we were ignoring the facts. … You can look at a weather report and one weather report comes out and says it’s going to be cloudy, and the next one says there’s going to be light rain,” Spicer said. “No one lied to you, it just means you interpreted the data in a way that you felt got you to a conclusion.”

“Where are their facts? Because I got called a liar for something that I can add up and say hHere’s how we came up with this number,’ and yet where’s the number that [proves] that I’m wrong?” he continued. “The default was ‘you’re lying’ whereas I was willing to put numbers out there to back up how I got to it.” 

The White House has admitted that Washington Metro rider numbers Spicer gave to illustrate Trump’s crowd were inaccurate. Spicer has said they were pulled from an outside agency. He told Hannity that the White House was not trying to “mislead” anyone.

Spicer said he is “frustrated” by what he sees as the media’s instinct to doubt Trump’s abilities and a “double standard and rush to click instead of get it right.”

He also said he is hoping to bring “new voices” to the White House press briefings by taking questions from news outlets outside the major networks. On Tuesday he answered questions from reporters at the New York Post, Laura Ingraham’s LifeZette, Christian Broadcasting Network and Univision. 

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