The President visited the CIA, saying he is "behind" the intel community and criticized the media
Much of Washington's monumental core was filled with protesters Saturday
Trump attended traditional inaugural prayer service at the National Cathedral
President Donald Trump moved fast to mend his relationship with the CIA on just his second day in office, then ignited a feud with the media over the size of his inauguration crowd after mass nationwide protests erupted against his administration.
A day after he set the tone for his term by delivering a searing inaugural address laced with the populist themes that helped him win the election, Trump offered new evidence that he will be as disdainful of convention and protocol as President as he was in the campaign trail.
His broadside against the media, which he believes is unfairly representing the size of the crowd on Friday, and the sight of huge anti-Trump crowds in US cities and around the world also made another thing clear: the political acrimony that rattled the nation for the past 18 months is not going away.
Trump traveled to the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, for a briefing from senior agency leaders and spoke to several hundred people in the spy agency’s foyer, in front of a hallowed spot: the wall of honor where fallen operatives are remembered with stars.
“This is my first stop officially, there is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump, there is nobody,” Trump said. “I am so behind you and I know that maybe sometimes you haven’t got the backing that you wanted.”
The gesture of the visit was an important moment for Trump, who raised doubts about his relationship with US intelligence agencies by initially casting doubt on their assessment that Russia intervened in the election by hacking Democratic email accounts. He had also spurred anxiety about his willingness to accept traditional presidential daily briefings on the gravest security threats facing the United States.
His comments were warmly received by CIA employees who came in on a Saturday to see their new president.
But Trump also departed from his topic, turning the event into a campaign-like appearance.
He complained about the media’s treatment of him and accused television stations of not being truthful about the size of the crowd on Friday.
“I have a running war with the media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth – they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. The reason you are the number one stop is exactly the opposite,” he said.
Later, White House press secretary Sean Spicer appeared in the White House briefing room to warn the administration was going to hold the press “accountable” and argued that the Trump crowd was the largest inaugural crowd