The new US President, who was inaugurated on Friday visited the CIA headquarters during his first full day in office and took issue over media reports over the size of those gathering on the National Mall to watch proceedings.
The 70-year-old said the crowds “went all the way back to the Washington Monument” despite photographic and video evidence appearing to show the crowds stopped well short of the national landmark.
He described the reporting as “shameful” and threatened a “big price” would be paid by reporters who allegedly lied about the numbers attending.
Donald Trump speaking at the CIA headquarters
The new president’s spokesman Sean Spicer insisted his was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period”.
Mr Trump said: "We had a massive field of people, you saw them – packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field.
"I said 'wait a minute, I made a speech', I looked out the field was, it looked like a million, a million and a half people, they showed a field where there were practically nobody standing.
Crowds gather in Washington for Donald Trump's inauguration
"Honestly it looked like a million and a half people, whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington monument."
In a general comment about the media he called reporters as being among the “most dishonest human beings on Earth”.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer also echoed Mr Trump’s words saying it was “deliberate false reporting”.
During a press briefing he said: "Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power… some members of the media were engaged in deliberate and false reporting.”
He continued: "Photographs of the inauguration process were intentionally framed in a way … to minimise the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall.”
Numerous images published contrasted those attending Mr Trump’s inauguration and the one for Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.
Donald Trump becomes 45th U.S. PRESIDENT
Fri, January 20, 2017
The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States will mark the commencement of the four-year term of Donald Trump as President and Mike Pence as Vice President. A public ceremony will be held on Friday, January 20, 2017, on the West Front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
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US President Donald Trump points to the stands as he walks with his wife Melania during the Inaugural Parade.
Unofficial estimates put the Washington crowd at around 250,000.
Mr Spicer compiled figures that put those attending the event at 720,000.
Officials from the District of Columbia said that 1.8million people attended Mr Obama's 2009 inauguration and close to 1m showed up for his second in 2013.
Donald Trump speaking at the CIA headquarters in Langley
George W Bush drew some 400,000 in 2005, 300,000 in 2001; Bill Clinton had 800,000 in 1993 then 250,000 in 1997.
Mr Trump’s trip to the CIA headquarters just outside Washington was an attempt by the Republican to mend bridges after he had attacked the intelligence agency during his campaign.
He had previously suggested that US intelligence officials were behind the leak of an unverified dossier that claimed Russia had amassed compromising financial and personal information about him.
Crowds begin to gather in Washington for Trump's inauguration
During the speech he also denied he had a feud with the intelligence community and again blamed the media for creating a false impression.
He said: “There is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and CIA than Donald Trump. There’s nobody.
“I am so behind you and I know that maybe sometimes you haven’t got the backing that you wanted.”