On Friday, tens of thousands of people converged on the National Mall in Washington to watch the inauguration of President Donald Trump. But not nearly as many people as the president and his staff thought.
By Saturday, rattled by widespread protests across the nation, Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, used his first White House briefing as a forum to blame journalists, accusing news outlets of "deliberately false reporting" on the inaugural celebration, saying, "This was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period."
The following day, Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying he had offered "alternative facts" to media reports.
Conway's statement was met with widespread disbelief. But on Twitter, it also prompted the birth of a viral hashtag and plenty of memes mocking the president and his team. #AlternativeFact took off, with users tweeting other blatant nontruths — like claiming Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton actually won the election and praising the Green Bay Packers.
Even Courtney Love Cobain got in on the fun, tweeting Sunday night, "I've NEVER done any drugs in my life nor have I ever swore in public nor smoked a cigarette #alternativefact."
Congratulations to the giants and Packers for making it to the Super Bowl. Oh wait, that's just an #alternativefact— Serendipity (@SaraElla1808) January 23, 2017
Growing up in Trump apartment complex I had many black neighbors. #alternativefact— Lynne Goldin (@lynnegoldin) January 23, 2017
I don't think Deplorables are stupid. I just think they are alternatively smart. #alternativefact— #NotMyPresident (@LiberalJayy) January 23, 2017
#alternativefact Nobody wants to see Trump's taxes.— Kimmie #RESISTACE (@kimmie8264) January 23, 2017
I'm straight #AlternativeFact— Closeted Gay Guy (@CGGuy44) January 22, 2017
Mondays are awesome, weekends suck #alternativefact— legit_geek (@legitimate_geek) January 23, 2017
I made the t-shirt bazooka that killed Maude Flanders #AlternativeFact— Dex Cotton (@DexCotton) January 23, 2017
Kellyanne Conway was best dressed at Trump's inauguration. #AlternativeFact— Mr. Weeks (@MrDane1982) January 22, 2017
I've NEVER done any drugs in my life nor have I ever swore in public nor smoked a cigarette #alternativefact— Courtney Love Cobain (@Courtney) January 23, 2017