Lies spread by President Donald Trump's White House could put 'lives at risk', says senior congressman

Leader of the free world says he's in a 'running war' with press over reporting about him

Jon Sharman
Monday 23 January 2017 17:30
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President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address
President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address

Falsehoods spread by President Donald Trump's White House could put "lives at risk" according to a senior congressman.

Democrat Adam Schiff, of California, was speaking during the fallout from a number of false claims made by Mr Trump and his staff regarding the size of the crowd at his inauguration ceremony.

Press secretary Sean Spicer made the demonstrably false claim that the crowd was the biggest ever, "period", while the President himself claimed between one and 1.5 million people had attended, which photographs disproved.

Mr Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Politico: "It absolutely puts lives at risk. If the president claims that Iran is cheating on the nuclear accord, or that North Korea is about to test a nuclear device on an intercontinental missile, the public needs to believe him, and if he so undermines his credibility we can’t build an international coalition … it has the gravest consequences."

Mr Trump's adviser Kellyanne Conway told an incredulous NBC anchor on Sunday that Mr Spicer was dealing in "alternative facts", not falsehoods.

Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes, the retired former director of the Defence Intelligence Agency, said "you should be absolutely factual" when discussing intelligence or foreign affairs, Politico reported.

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