×

First Trump press moment was a catastrophe and puts US lives at risk: Analyst

U.S. President Donald Trump smiles while speaking at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.
Olivier Douliery | Pool | Bloomberg | Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump smiles while speaking at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.

The first full day of the new U.S. presidency was a "catastrophic" moment for President Donald Trump in terms of media relations, an analyst told CNBC.

Press secretary Sean Spicer told journalists summoned to an impromptu press conference in the White House Saturday that the media had distorted figures on how many people attended the inauguration ceremony.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President, told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that the Spicer's statement contained "alternative facts."

"(Trump) had a catastrophic first weekend when it comes to media coverage," Brian Klaas , fellow in comparative politics at the London School of Economics told CNBC on Monday.

"The first press moment they had from the White House podium, the four or five statements made were lies and they're easily provable lies."

Spicer said that about 720,000 people attended the ceremony but that nobody had official figures. Several U.S. media used photos from 2009's inauguration of President Barack Obama to show that there were fewer people on Friday.

The New York Times described the White House statements as a "striking display of invective and grievance at the dawn of a presidency".

According to Klaas, taking such an approach by the new presidency brought into question the credibility associated with the institution and "puts American lives at risk because during a crisis you don't know you can trust the White House and that's really dangerous for the West."


Elsewhere, the Taiwanese electronics firm Foxconn announced a $7 billion investment in the U.S. which according to Reuters fits "neatly" with the protectionist policies of President Trump to create domestic jobs.

According to Klaas, such deals are not the best solution for the U.S. economy.

"You have these ideas that we made this deal that saved all these jobs but one of the major deals Trump has done after winning was this carrier deal in Indiana for a plant and they invested the big tax break they got in automation and that didn't make the headlines. The headlines were we saved the jobs, well maybe they're saved for a year, two years, three years, but is this the long-term solution to the U.S economy," Klaas told CNBC on Monday.

Furthermore, the links between President Trump and the business community continue to raise questions over conflicts of interest. Analysts are concerned that certain deals with firms may not necessarily be conducted in the long-term economic interest of the U.S.

"When you have a president who has not released tax returns, we don't know what where his financial interest lays and he is the key dealmaker, that's a real troubling thing for US diplomacy on the global stage because you can't tell whether or not he is working for American interests or his own interest," Klaas added.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.

Correction: The estimated figure presented by the White House was 720,000 and not 72,000 as an initial version reported.