The Trump administration is now calling out reporters for their tweets.
The first “egregious example” Spicer cited concerned a tweet from Time magazine reporter Zeke Miller, who tweeted, inaccurately, that the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. Miller says he checked to see if it was there twice, but his claim that it was gone later proved to be false. He apologized for the inaccuracy.
“After it was pointed out that this was just plain wrong, the reporter casually tweeted out that a Secret Service agent must have just been standing in front of it,” Spicer said. “This was irresponsible and reckless.”
Spicer further claimed that security measures, including the use of magnetometers, prevented “hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past.” The U.S. Secret Service tells CNN reporter Jim Acosta that magnetometers were not used. Two senior law enforcement agents also denied the use of magnetometers to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt.
Spicer also cast doubt on the number of protesters at Saturday's Women's March on Washington due to “the same reason,” despite the fact that the march did not solely take place on the Mall lawn.
By Spicer's calculations, “all” of an area capable of holding a total of 720,000 people “was full when the president took the oath of office.” Spicer further claimed that some 420,000 people took rides on the D.C. Metro on Trump's inauguration day, claiming that number was higher than on the day of Obama's 2013 inauguration. In fact, Spicer cited the number of rides on Jan. 20, 2013, that took place as of 11am ET, not of the entire day. As of 11am on the day of Trump's inauguration, just 193,000 rides had taken place, according to the D.C. Metro.
D.C. Metro did not immediately respond to our request to confirm Spicer's figure of 420,000 rides on Jan. 20.
Update 7pm CT, Jan. 21: Law enforcement, including the U.S. Secret Service, deny Spicer's claim that magnetometers were used as part of National Mall security.