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Hrrrmm

At a reception in the White Housea short time ago, according to the pool report, President Trump spotted FBI Director Comey and called out to him. Comey came over to Trump to shake his hand and then gave Trump a hug before shaking the Vice President's hand.

"He's become more famous than me," said Trump.

How Did The Crowds Match Up?

There is no precise way to count the number of people in a DC crowd on a given day, though crowd experts have formulas for making pretty good approximations. But we do have very precise numbers on the number of rides taken each day on the DC area subway system (the metro). And it's a decent apples to apples comparison for getting a broad sense of which inauguration crowd was bigger and how they matched up to yesterday's Women's March on Washington. So here are the numbers.

To see a full size version of the chart, click the title of this post.

Spicer Crowd Size Presser

5:39 PM: After a delay of about an hour we appear to be moments away from what is expected to be a White House statement on the crowd size issue.

5:40 PM: Spicer complaining about MLK bust and giving various excuses why the inaugural crowd was much bigger than anyone said.

5:41 PM: Spicer claims crowd was the largest crowd ever to witness a presidential inauguration.

5:43 PM: Spicer is basically in primal scream mode now.

5:46 PM: Verbatim quote: "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration. Period. Both in person and around the globe."

On the one hand it is chilling, bizarre, un-American to see the President's spokesman begin the term excoriating and threatening the press, telling demonstrable lies, speaking with a palpable rage in his voice. On the other, the President and his toadies are on the second day almost vanishingly small. They are embarrassing themselves. They look silly. They look ridiculous. It is hard to be intimidated by ridiculousness. I suspect this will be the abiding duality of the Trump presidency.

Full video of Spicer after the jump.

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National Insecurity

The first big initiative of the Trump administration will apparently be to contest the crowd-size estimates for his inauguration. Trump himself just went down that bizarre path at CIA headquarters, in front of the memorial to fallen CIA officers. And now we're awaiting a White House press briefing, where photos of the crowd, blown up to poster size, have been set out as props:

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Bizarre

Trump is spending a decent part of his informal speech to the staff of the CIA talking about how the press covered up how big his inaugural crowds were.

"We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. 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 practical nobody standing there."

Jeff Sessions, Civil Rights Champion!

One of the outside groups supporting Jeff Sessions nomination as attorney general is running a TV ad in DC titled "Champion" that calls him a "civil rights champion" and associates him in images with Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Lewis. It's a remarkable re-write of Sessions' life and career:

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