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Tensions rise in Trump’s ‘war on the press’

DENVER -- Tensions remain high between the Trump administration and the White House press corps. President Donald Trump’s press secretary, accused of lying about inauguration crowd size, scolded journalists over the weekend.

The administration’s back-and-forth with reporters comes on the heels of massive anti-Trump protests across the country. Many of the protesters said it’s time for Trump and White House officials to be honest with the American people.

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Saturday.

According to impartial crowd estimates and Nielsen television ratings, Spicer is incorrect.

“I think there is a perception that Trump press operations, so far, is willing to manipulate and change things based on what’s good for them,” said former presidential speechwriter Andy Boian.

Boian, a Colorado public relations firm executive, has been involved in federal and state politics for decades. He has written speeches for President Bill Clinton and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Boian believes the American people will not stand for dishonesty or perception of dishonesty. He said dishonesty didn’t work for presidents Richard Nixon or Clinton, and he predicts the Trump team will be forced to pivot.

“I think what’s going to happen is there will be a course correction sooner than later with regards to how the press is treated by this White House and vice versa," Boian said.

On Twitter over the weekend, former presidential press secretaries criticized Spicer.

Journalists have vowed much scrutiny will come over holding President Trump accountable to his campaign promises.

On Sunday, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway signaled Trump would break a promise by telling ABC News that her boss will not release his tax returns even after a current IRS audit is complete.

Trump’s rocky start has incited fierce resistance as seen in massive protests across the country.

Trump surprised critics with a positive message of the demonstrations, saying peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. But Democrats said Trump still has a long way to go.

"President Trump ought to realize he's not campaigning anymore,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said. “He's president. Instead of talking about how many people showed up at his inauguration, he ought to be talking about how many people are going to stay in the middle class and move into the middle class."

The first official Trump White House press briefing with reporters questions is scheduled for Monday.