• ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that he believes that his job is to be honest with the public but "sometimes we can disagree with the facts but our intention is never to lie.""There are certain things that we may -- we may not fully understand when we come out but our intention is never the lie to you," he said.Monday's news conference is the first time Spicer is taking reporters' questions since the inauguration. On Saturday, he appeared in the briefing room and read a statement to the press but did not take any questions afterward.Spicer defended Saturday's statement when he said "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -- period -- both in person and around the globe," specifically citing audiences who watched the inauguration online and through streaming services, even though those audience numbers have not been publicly confirmed.When asked by ABC News' Jonathan Karl about whether or not Trump's inauguration had a larger audience than that of President Ronald Reagan's inaugurations, Spicer said "I'm pretty sure that Reagan didn't have YouTube, Facebook or the internet."In Saturday's statement, Spicer also said "some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting," specifically citing the use of photos from the inauguration on Friday that he said were "intentionally framed in a way ... to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall."On Monday, Spicer also defended his decision not to take any questions after making his statement on Saturday."Look -- I came out to read a statement. I did it. We're here today. I'm going to stay as long as you want," Spicer said.He also said that the numbers that he released on Saturday about WMATA metro ridership -- which differed from the accurate figures that were released by WMATA later that day -- were provided to him by the Presidential Inaugural Committee."At the time the information that I was provided by the inaugural committee came from an outside agency that we reported on. And I think knowing when we know now we can tell that WMATA's numbers were different but we were providing numbers we had been provided. It wasn't like we made them up out of thin air," he said.Earlier in the news conference, Spicer ran through the meetings Trump had Monday morning, which included a meeting with business leaders, lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and a call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.He also criticized Democrats, saying that they were holding up Trump's "unquestionably qualified" candidates who need Senate confirmation.Spicer was asked about when the White House's Spanish site would be reinstated, and he said "we've got the IT guys working overtime.""We're working piece by piece to get that done," he said.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump signed three executive orders Monday morning, taking immediate action on at least one main campaign promise.One executive order called for U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, fulfilling a promise made on the campaign trail in a move he says will help American businesses."Great thing for the American worker, what we just did," Trump said as he signed that executive order at the Resolute desk in the Oval Office.The next executive order he signed was a hiring freeze on all federal workers "except for military," he said.The final executive order of the morning was a reaffirmation of an existing law which bans foreign nongovernmental organizations from promoting or paying for abortions.Trump has previously said that he considers Monday his first "real" work day following Friday's inauguration, though he did do some business over the weekend. He made a trip to the CIA on Saturday, addressing members of the intelligence community, and then swore in his senior staff on Sunday.In a video message two weeks after his election, Trump pledged that on "Day 1" he would take the following actions:
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Marco Rubio will support former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, he announced in a statement posted on Facebook Monday, deferring to President Donald Trump’s selection over his concerns about Tillerson’s positions on Russia."Given the uncertainty that exists both at home and abroad about the direction of our foreign policy, it would be against our national interests to have this confirmation unnecessarily delayed or embroiled in controversy. Therefore, despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate," Rubio wrote in the statement.The Florida Republican’s support all but guarantees Tillerson’s nomination will clear the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its vote Monday afternoon.Rubio questioned Tillerson sharply during his confirmation hearing on Russia’s activity in Ukraine, Syria and imposing sanctions against the country.Rubio said he was troubled by Tillerson’s refusal to say Russian President Vladimir Putin has committed war crimes in Syria, and that he did not commit to maintain sanctions against Russia for military actions in Ukraine.“I think it’s important, if you stand for moral clarity, that you be clear,” Rubio told reporters following the hearing. "I'm prepared to do what's right."On Monday, he said he would give Trump's nominee the benefit of the doubt.“But in making my decision on his nomination, I must balance these concerns with his extensive experience and success in international commerce, and my belief that the president is entitled to significant deference when it comes to his choices for the Cabinet,” Rubio wrote.On Sunday, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who have expressed wariness over Tillerson’s relationship with Russia, announced they would support him on the Senate floor.Rubio met privately with Tillerson twice before announcing his decision, before and after the confirmation hearing.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he expects the Senate will confirm all of Trump's Cabinet nominees.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump’s most consistent campaign promise — to build a wall on the United States’ southern border to keep immigrants out — will be a waste of time and money, the former head of the Customs and Border Protection agency told ABC News in a final warning just days before leaving office.“I think that anyone who’s been familiar with the southwest border and the terrain...kind of recognizes that building a wall along the entire southwest border is probably not going to work,” Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of CBP during the Obama Administration, said shortly before leaving office last Friday.Over the course of the race to the White House, Trump’s wall idea became more than a simple policy proposal.Repeatedly featuring in Trump’s speeches and the chants of his supporters, the idea of the wall in many ways came to capture the zeitgeist of his campaign.And it’s an idea that persisted through the race and afterward, even as other proposals were altered or dropped.Just 37 percent of Americans support building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released last week.Kerlikowske says that supporters of the wall are missing the real issue when it comes to the immigration inflows that they are concerned about.“[Immigrants] can come right up to our ports of entry. All our ports of entry of course are open. That’s where we have our commerce,” he told ABC News’ Brian Ross. "People can come up to those ports of entry, as they are doing now, and turn themselves in and ask for whatever laws they feel will protect them."In his wall-building pledge, Trump has also vowed to do it on the cheap.“I would build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me — and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” he said during his campaign launch.But Kerlikowske said that he didn't “think this was feasible,” nor “the smartest way to use taxpayer money on infrastructure.”“When we look at the cost — and we have about 600 miles of fencing now — we look at the maintenance and the upkeep, we know how incredibly difficult it is,” he said.The former CBP chief also took time to highlight the work of his agency during his tenure, praising the “21,000 border patrol agents and 24,000 Customs and Border Protection Officers,” while noting that “not that many years ago we had 1.6 million people coming across the border.”And it’s because of those employees and those declining numbers, Kerlikowske said that he’d, “call the border far more secure today.”“But, if we say, ‘you know, what is secure border?’ I think definition is in the eye of beholder,” he said.“Does it mean nobody get in ever? Does it mean 400,000 is too many, but 1.6 million compared to 1.6 million?”“I think you have to put it into context,” he said. “But it is a safer place today.”
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  • Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Trump came face-to-face with FBI Director James Comey on Sunday after questions circulated whether Comey would stay on the job for the rest of his term in the new administration.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said the issue of crowd sizes at Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday in comparison to prior inaugurations is "not so important."Her comments came just hours after President Trump made false claims about turnout and ordered his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to hold his first press conference to reiterate them. Spicer blasted the media, accusing news organizations of intentionally framing photographs to "minimize the [president's] enormous support" and claiming the Jan. 20 ceremony had the "largest audience ever."Conway towed a similar line Sunday on ABC News' "This Week," arguing that the crowd "was historic based on the projections that were given and certainly based on the fact that we, for the first time, have a nonpolitician in the White House."Aerial images from Friday’s inaugural at noon during President Trump’s swearing-in show fewer people on the National Mall than during President Obama’s 2009 inaugural at the same time.After touting a historic crowd, Conway blamed the inclement weather for discouraging more attendees: "First of all, there was rain -- the downpour that was reported -- and I think it deterred many people from coming.""But there were hundreds of thousands of people here," she told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "And more importantly, 31 million people watched this inaugural [on TV] ... according to Nielsen. That is far above the 20.5 million that watched President Obama's second inauguration."Nielsen ratings reported that 30,600,000 watched Trump's inauguration on television, more than the 20,552,000 who viewed President Obama getting inaugurated in 2013, but less than the 37,793,000 who watched Obama taking the oath of office in 2009. All of them fell short of the record 41,800,260 viewers of President Reagan's first inauguration in 1981. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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