Comparing and debating inauguration crowd size, TV audience

- How big was the crowd at Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump as president? Sunday morning, a top Trump aide is saying crowd size doesn't matter.

Kellyanne Conway told NBC's "Meet the Press" it was unfair for the media to report Trump's inauguration was smaller than President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009. Prior to his inauguration, Trump predicted his inauguration would have "an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout."

Conway said she believes the threat of rain might have deterred supporters and said, "I don't think ultimately presidents are judged by crowd sizes at their inauguration. I think they are judged by their accomplishments."

When asked why Trump press secretary Sean Spicer mischaracterized the inauguration as the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration - period - both in person and around the globe," Conway said he was merely offering "alternative facts."

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus defended Trump's anger at the media for correctly reporting his inauguration drew a smaller crowd than his predecessor.

Priebus told "Fox News Sunday" Trump and Spicer were trying to keep the media "honest" when they levied charges of false reporting the day before.

Priebus claimed there "is an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president and we are not going to sit around and let it happen."

Trump turned a visit to the CIA into an occasion to bash the media.

Photos the National Mall clearly show that President Barack Obama drew a much larger crowd to his inauguration in 2009. Official crowd counts were not released.

Sunday morning, Trump tweeted about the television audience.

Other Sunday morning headlines:
 
   Sen. John McCain says he's now supporting Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson.
 
   The Arizona senator says the decision "wasn't an easy call" but he says the former Exxon Mobil CEO assuaged worries about his positions on Russia in a series of private meetings. McCain says he also believes in giving incoming presidents "the benefit of the doubt" on their picks.
 
   McCain had raised concerns about Tillerson's perceived coziness with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
 
   The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote on Tillerson's nomination on Monday afternoon.
 
   McCain made his remarks in an interview with ABC's "This Week."
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   The Senate's top Democrat says his party won't be rushing into confirming President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees.
 
   Already on the job are retired Gens. James Mattis at the Defense Department and John Kelly at Homeland Security.
 
   And there's a vote expected Monday evening on a Republican congressman, Mike Pompeo, to lead the CIA.
 
   Sen. Chuck Schumer says that for many other nominees, "there's going to be a thorough debate." He tells CNN's "State of the Union" that he's "dubious" about eight or nine of Trump's picks, and he's citing potential conflicts of interests and policy stands, but says he hasn't made final decisions about how he'll vote.
 
   The New York Democrat is making his view clear that "advise and consent does not mean ram it through."
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   Germany's foreign ministers says Donald Trump's election as president means "the old world of the 20th century is finally over."
 
   Frank-Walter Steinmeier writes in Bild newspaper that Germany will act quickly to secure "close and trusting trans-Atlantic cooperation based on common values" with the new administration.
 
   He says that with any power change there are "uncertainties, doubts and question marks," but a lot more is at stake "in these times of a new global disorder."
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   Britain's prime minister says she plans to discuss free trade and the importance of NATO when she becomes the first foreign leader to meet with President Donald Trump in Washington.
 
   The White House's invitation for Theresa May to meet with Trump on Friday is seen in Britain as affirmation that Trump values the vaunted "special relationship" between the U.S. and Britain.
 
   May tells the BBC that the Trump team is interested in discussing a new trade arrangement with Britain despite the "America first" theme of Trump's inaugural address and his pledge to evaluate every trade deal for its possible benefits to the United States.
 
   May says she'll bring up NATO during the meeting, and she calls the alliance the "bulwark" of Europe's defense system.
 
   Trump has rattled European allies by suggesting NATO is "obsolete" and that the United States might not come to the aid of countries that don't meet targets for their own defense spending.
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   The Dalai Lama says he hopes President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will work together for global peace.
 
   The exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists says the world needs leaders with compassion.
 
   According to a press statement, he made the remarks Saturday at a program in New Delhi organized by the women's chapter of an industry group.
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   Turkey's president says he's interested in hearing President Donald Trump's policies on the Middle East.
 
   Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells reporters before leaving on a trip to Africa that Turkey wants a Mideast where countries' territorial integrity is upheld and the region is not "shattered."
 
   Turkey is especially concerned about the possible disintegration of neighbors Iraq and Syria.
 
   Erdogan says efforts are underway to set a date for a possible meeting with Trump.

 

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