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January 23, 2017

On Saturday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared the audience at President Trump's inauguration "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period," slamming the media for reporting photos that showed a noticeably sparser crowd at Trump's ceremony Friday than appeared at former President Obama's first inauguration. Spicer also claimed — in contradiction with official data from the Washington, D.C., Metro system — that more people rode the Metro for Trump's swearing-in than for Obama's.

But on Monday, when pressed by ABC News' Jonathan Karl on his claims absent evidence, Spicer assured the American people that "our intention is never to lie to you." "Yes, I believe we have to be honest with the American people. I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts," Spicer said, when Karl asked if he would always "tell the truth from that podium." When Karl asked Spicer if he'd like to issue any corrections to his Saturday statements, Spicer resisted: "I came out to read a statement," he said of Saturday's press conference, "and I did."

Spicer then pointed out that the media makes mistakes "all the time." If anyone should be apologizing for falsehoods, Spicer suggested, it's the reporter who mistakenly reported that the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. The Daily Beast's Olivia Nuzzi pointed out the reporter had in fact apologized — and that Spicer had acknowledged that apology:

After his vow to tell the truth, Spicer proceeded to double-down on his claim that Trump's inaugural address was the "most-watched ever," both "in person and around the globe." Watch the entire exchange below. Becca Stanek

10:36 p.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's lawyers basically have no idea what White House Counsel Don McGahn shared with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team during 30 hours of interviews, people close to Trump told The New York Times on Sunday.

McGahn's lawyer only gave them a sliver of what he told investigators, two people told the Times, and now Trump's advisers are worried McGahn gave a lot of information that will end up in Mueller's ultimate report. Trump's lawyers weren't aware of how little they knew until they read a report published on Saturday in the Times regarding McGahn's cooperation with Mueller's office. A person close to Trump told the Times his lawyers never asked McGahn to give a complete description of what he told Mueller's team, and others said McGahn wanted to talk to investigators because he was afraid Trump was going to set him up to take the blame for any wrongdoing.

On Sunday morning, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani admitted he didn't know much about what McGahn had told Mueller's team, and Trump went on a Twitter tirade, claiming he "allowed" McGahn to speak to investigators because he has "nothing to hide." Catherine Garcia

9:10 p.m. ET
Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images

In his first televised speech since taking office, Pakistan's new prime minister, Imran Khan, said he plans on tackling the growing divide between the rich and poor.

"I want to see Pakistan a great country," Khan, a former cricketer, said on Sunday. He will focus on increasing social services for the poor, cutting government expenses, fighting corruption, and austerity measures, as Pakistan's foreign debt is more than $95 billion. Khan said Pakistan has never been doing worse economically, and "the interest that we have to pay on our debt has reached a level that we have to take on more debt just to repay our obligations."

Khan was sworn in on Saturday, and is already vowing to reform everything from the criminal justice system to the education sector. He also promised to "keep good relations with all countries. We want peace as without it no progress and development is possible."

8:43 p.m. ET
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Federal investigators are looking into whether Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer and fixer, committed bank and tax fraud when securing more than $20 million in loans and if he violated campaign finance laws when arranging financial deals with women who said they had affairs with Trump, several people familiar with the matter told The New York Times.

Two people said the probe is in its end stages, and prosecutors are mulling filing charges by the end of August. Investigators are trying to figure out if Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets in order to obtain loans from two banks for his taxi business, and if he failed to report income from that same business to the IRS, the Times reports. Read more about the investigation and what might happen if Cohen decides to take a plea agreement at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

12:58 p.m. ET

China, Iran, and North Korea could join Russia in attempting to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, National Security Adviser John Bolton said on ABC's This Week Sunday.

Bolton told host Martha Raddatz there is "a sufficient national security concern about Chinese meddling, Iranian meddling, and North Korean meddling that we're taking steps to try and prevent it" — but he would not answer her question about whether there is any evidence China has tried to hack American elections in the past.

Bolton is a diehard hawk who has advocated attacking Iran and North Korea.

Raddatz also asked whether Bolton would support fighting the 17-year war in Afghanistan entirely using contractors instead of the U.S. military. (Contractors already outnumber U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan by a large margin.) Bolton dodged the question with a bromide about entertaining new tactics.

Watch that exchange below. Bonnie Kristian

12:31 p.m. ET

Former CIA Director John Brennan is considering legal action against the Trump administration after President Trump revoked his security clearance as part of a very public feud, Brennan said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.

"I have been contacted by a number of lawyers and they have already given me their thoughts about the basis for a complaint, an injunction, to try and prevent him from doing this in the future," Brennan told host Chuck Todd. "If my clearances and my reputation — as I'm being pulled through the mud now — if that's the price we're going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this against other people, to me it's a small price to pay, so I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future, and if it means going to court, I will do that."

Pressed by Todd as to whether he regrets "essentially accusing the president of treason," Brennan said no. "I've been speaking out rather forcefully, because I believe it's important to do so," he said. "I don't believe I'm being political at all." Contra Todd, who highlighted his prominence as "the former CIA director accusing the sitting president of the United States," Brennan maintained he is merely a "private citizen."

Watch the full segment below. Bonnie Kristian

11:14 a.m. ET

Those who say President Trump should testify for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation "because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, well, that's so silly, because it's somebody's version of the truth — not the truth [itself[," Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said on NBC News Sunday.

"Truth is truth," Meet the Press host Chuck Todd interjected.

"No," Giuliani replied, "it isn't truth. Truth isn't truth."

After a moment of crosstalk and protestation, Todd observed Giuliani's phrase "is going to become a bad meme."

While Trump himself has at times expressed eagerness to testify, his legal team has been wary of permitting it, with Giuliani alleging Mueller is attempting to trap Trump in perjury. His Orwellian phrasing aside, Giuliani's concern is not particularly unusual, especially for a lawyer with a loquacious fabulist for a client.

Giuliani's full interview mostly concerned Saturday's news that White House counsel Don McGahn has voluntarily given 30 hours of interviews to the Mueller team, as well as President Trump's response to that story. Watch the complete conversation with Todd below; the exchange about truth begins around the nine-minute mark. Bonnie Kristian

10:53 a.m. ET
Omar Haj Kadour/Getty Images

Syria's Idlib province is expected to be the site of the final major battle of the seven-year Syrian civil war.

The country's strongman President Bashar al-Assad has retaken most rebel-held territory across Syria, and Idlib is the last large rebel-held enclave. About 70,000 rebel fighters are in the province, driven by regime forces from other Syrian regions.

Idlib is also the temporary home of internally displaced people who have fled more intense fighting elsewhere in Syria. Now, the fighting will likely come to their doorsteps once again as a new offensive is thought to be imminent.

"We are asking God for mercy and protection from the bombing and the airstrikes," said a woman named Aisha, who lives in Idlib with her family. "If I take [my children] with me outside, I am scared. If I leave them inside the house, I'm also scared. Wherever I go, I will still be scared for their lives." Bonnie Kristian

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