Monday, January 23, 2017

We have to be relentless, Diane

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Diane --

Donald Trump spent the first few days of his presidency focused on the most important issue facing our country:

The size of the crowd at his inauguration.

Fewer people attended Trump's swearing-in than either of President Obama's inaugurations. Far fewer people were in town for Friday's inauguration than for the Women's March on Washington on Saturday. Those are the facts.

Ultimately, inauguration crowd size doesn't really matter. But the way that Trump and his senior aides have reacted does. If Trump and his minions are so quick to lie about something as petty as crowd size, how can we trust them to tell the truth about anything?

When Donald went to CIA headquarters on Saturday and stood in front of the wall of 117 stars honoring fallen CIA officers, he didn't talk about the important work they did or their sacrifice. He didn't offer an apology for comparing the intelligence community to Nazis. He denounced media reports and boasted about his own, inflated sense of the size of his crowds.

In his first official press briefing, new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked reporters who accurately reported on the low turnout, presented the administration's preferred crowd photos (which obscured all the empty space), and then stormed off without answering any questions.

And when confronted with reality, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway coined the Orwellian phrase "alternative facts" to describe the administration's lies about the inauguration crowds.

Diane, this is about far more than Donald Trump's bruised ego. He made the media one of the villains in his campaign, and now, with the full weight of the White House behind him, he is trying to discredit unbiased, objective reporting about his administration and reinvent lies as "alternative facts."

It's the first step to avoiding accountability. So we have to be relentless in calling out every lie and getting out the truth. Can we count on you to help fight back?

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Eric Walker
Deputy Communications Director
Democratic National Committee

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