*Donald Trump, still obsessed with crowd size, is now claiming that the 45.6 million who watched the State of the Union address was the “highest number in history.”
Barack Obama’s first State of the Union in 2010 drew 48 million viewers, and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also scored larger audiences for their first SOTUs.
The audience for Trump’s State of the Union didn’t even match his first speech before a joint session of Congress, which was 47.7 million.
Trump tweeted: “Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!”
The White House tried to walk this back on Thursday, saying Trump’s “highest number” reference “was referring to highest in cable news history, which is why he specifically mentioned Fox News.”
Fox News did receive the largest audience for its coverage of the address.
Trump’s made similar claims of record audience size in the past, starting with the number of people who attended his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2017. His then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave an impromptu news conference to dispute media reports that the crowd size was lower than that of Obama’s two inaugurals.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer said, erroneously.