What The Fuck Just Happened Today?

Today's essential newsletter logging the daily shock and awe in national politics. Read in moderation.
by @matt_kiser

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Day 3: Alternative facts.

1/ The Trump Administration started with a big lie over a small thing. It wasn’t about an affair with an intern or in an attempt to wage war. The Trump administration kicked off with a whopper about the media’s role in maliciously minimizing the crowd size for Trump’s inauguration in a dastardly attempt to make him look bad. (The Daily Best)

2/ Crowd scientists say Women’s March in Washington was three times the size of the audience at Trump’s inauguration (NY Times), and may have been the largest demonstration in US history. Marches held in more than 500 US cities were attended by at least 3.3 million people. (Vox)

3/ Kellyanne Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the White House had put forth “alternative facts” to ones reported by the news media about the size of Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd. (NY Times)

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What– You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains–

CHUCK TODD: Wait a minute– Alternative facts?

KELLYANNE CONWAY: –that there’s–

CHUCK TODD: Alternative facts? Four of the five facts he uttered, the one thing he got right–

KELLYANNE CONWAY: –hey, Chuck, why– Hey Chuck–

CHUCK TODD: –was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.

4/ Alternative facts are a needless lie by the Trump Administration. If the president and his aides will tell easily disproven falsehoods about crowd sizes and speeches, what else will they be willing to dissemble about? (The Atlantic)

5/ The traditional way of reporting on a president is dead. And Trump’s press secretary killed it. The presidency is not a reality show, but President Trump on his first full day in office made clear that he’s still obsessed with being what he once proudly called “a ratings machine.” (Washington Post)

6/ The costs of Trump-branded reality: America’s credibility. When Trump swore the presidential oath, he assumed responsibility not only for the levers of government but also for one of the United States’ most valuable assets, battered though it may be: its credibility. (NY Times)

7/ Meanwhile, Trump’s top aides are troubled by his rocky first weekend in office, unfolded much the way things often did during his campaign: with angry Twitter messages, a familiar obsession with slights and a series of meandering and at times untrue statements, all eventually giving way to attempts at damage control. (NY Times)

8/ WikiLeaks calls out Trump for refusing to release tax returns. (Politico)

9/ Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his hotels and other business operations to accept payments from foreign governments, a team of prominent constitutional scholars, Supreme Court litigators and former White House ethics lawyers say. (NY Times)

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