Spicer Pledges To 'Never Knowingly Say Something That's Not Factual'

A reporter asked White House press secretary Sean Spicer about his inaccurate statement on the size of the inauguration crowd.
Posted at 6:22 PM, Jan 23, 2017

"Is it your intention to always tell the truth from that podium, and will you pledge never to knowingly say something that is not factual?" Jonathan Karl of ABC News asked.

"It is. It's an honor to do this. And yes, I believe that we have to be honest with the American people," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday.

After drawing criticism for inaccurately describing the size of President Trump's inauguration crowd over the weekend, Spicer — not surprisingly — got asked about it in his first press briefing Monday.

"I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts," Spicer said. "... There are times when you guys tweet something out or write a story, and you publish a correction. That doesn't mean that you were intentionally trying to deceive readers or the American people, does it? And I think we should be afforded the same opportunity."

But Spicer did stick by one of the claims he made during his fiery statement Saturday.

"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period — both in person and around the globe," Spicer said Saturday.

"It's unquestionable, and I don't see any numbers that dispute that when you add up attendance, viewership — total audience in terms of tablets, phones, on television," Spicer said Monday. 

Spicer previously claimed Trump's inauguration was the most watched in person, as well as the most watched on television and streamed online. In his Monday statement, he said the total from all those sources made Trump's inauguration audience the largest. 

Monday's briefing signaled a shake-up of sorts. Spicer broke with tradition by not calling on the Associated Press first. He also held off on calling on journalists from some of the largest outlets and publications until later into the briefing. 

Instead, he first called on smaller outlets and publications, like the New York Post and Christian Broadcasting Network.

Spicer also announced they'd add four "Skype seats" to the briefing room later this week. They'll be open to journalists who live more than 50 miles outside of Washington, D.C., and to organizations that don't have a permanent pass to the White House.

"I think this can benefit us all by giving a platform to voices that are not necessarily based here in the beltway," Spicer said.