The Merriam-Webster dictionary could not stay out of the discussion as Trump’s Counselor Kellyanne Conway went on Sunday news programs speaking about ‘alternative facts.’
It tweeted out the definition of the word fact. “A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality,” it said.
📈A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality. https://t.co/gCKRZZm23c
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) January 22, 2017
The dictionary also noted on its website that searches for the word “fact” spiked after Conway’s Sunday morning use of the phrase “alternative facts” during an interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ where she got into a heated discussion with host Chuck Todd.
“You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving, Sean Spicer, our Press Secretary, gave alternative facts to that,” she said to Todd. “Look, alternative facts are not facts,” he pushed back. “They are falsehoods.”
The exchange comes on the heels of attacks by Trump and his Press Secretary on the media regarding their claims that the media lied about the crowd sizes at Trump’s inauguration and even doctored pictures in order to make the National Mall in Washington D.C. seem emptier than it was.
Trump spent a major portion of his remarks during his first official visit to CIA headquarters on the matter. “We had a massive filed of people, you saw that. Packed,” he said during his remarks to about 400 CIA employees. “I get up this morning and I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I said wait a minute, I made a speech, I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, a million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there,” he said.
Spicer devoted his first official briefing on his first full day as White House Press Secretary on the subject, chastising reporters and storming off the podium without taking a single question. Spicer made the completely false claim that “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” when in fact, the crowd size that the Trump inauguration was clearly dwarfed even by the Women’s March on Washington the following day, let alone the nearly 2 million people who witnessed Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.