United States President Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said that he would never lie to the media. Spicer made the statement after he drew flak for a press briefing on Saturday where he made false statements about the size of the crowd at Trump's presidential inauguration on Friday.
During the press briefing on Saturday, Spicer had slammed the media for showing false reports about the size of the audience present at the Trump inauguration ceremony. The White House spokesperson had said that the crowd at the Trump ceremony was "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period." However, the media soon debunked his claims with pictures and facts, and the press conference was deemed as the "alternative facts" briefing.
Media released photographs of the crowd present at Trump's swearing-in ceremony on Friday stating that it was significantly smaller than that at former President Barack Obama's first presidential inauguration in 2009.
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer's remarks on Sunday, stating that the White House had wanted to "put alternative facts out there" to counter "biased media".
However, during his first formal White House briefing on Monday, Spicer was asked by the reporters present if he intended to tell them the truth from the lectern. Spicer replied, saying, "Our intention is never to lie to you."
Spicer, however, also defended his right to give the view from the administration's point of view. He defended his Saturday's remarks stating that he had also included the television and online viewers when he was referring to the crowd. The press secretary also said that Trump administration has been demoralised by the kind of media coverage and "constant attempt to undermine his (Trump's) credibility."
"I want to have a healthy relationship with the press," Spicer added. He answered questions on various policy issues pertaining to trade policy. He also said that he will begin taking questions from four "Skype seats" later this week to allow news organisations outside Washington to participate in the discussion.