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Donald Trump attacks media as presidency begins -

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STAN GRANT, PRESENTER: What an extraordinary beginning to the Trump presidency - massive protests, accusations of lying, a war with the media and the President picking a fight over just how many people did or did not turn out for his inauguration.

Donald Trump danced to the song 'My Way' and he has made it clear he will lead his way - that means attacking his critics, calling out the international community and putting America first.

It is a message that pumps up his supporters but it is also mobilising his detractors.

Washington correspondent Zoe Daniel reports Trump and his press secretary have falsely accused the media of deliberately downplaying the crowd numbers for the President's swearing-in ceremony.

ZOE DANIEL, REPORTER: It may be a post-truth world but Donald Trump is now one of the most powerful people in it.

That's a fact.


JUDGE: Congratulations Mr President.

DONALD TRUMP: From this day forward a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward it is going to be only America first, America first.

ZOE DANIEL: Sheer force of personality, populism and for his supporters refreshing unpredictability have put him here.

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FMR TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think what you'll find with Donald Trump is what has been done in the past doesn't necessarily, is not a prelude to what will be done in the future.

ZOE DANIEL: But is that something the world should fear because you mentioned international ...

COREY LEWANDOWSKI: Unpredictability is good.



ZOE DANIEL: In foreign policy?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI: Unpredictability is good in everything. You want to keep your enemies guessing what you are going to do. What he has always said was "Look, I've got a plan but I'm not going to project it to the world."

ANDREW SHEARER, ASIA PACIFIC SECURITY ADVISOR, CSIS: I think there is always a degree of uncertainty when a new administration takes office in Washington and there's always a lot of interest around the world but because of the extraordinary nature of this election campaign, of Donald Trump as an outsider, as an unconventional challenger, everything is suddenly up for grabs.

(Protesters chanting)

ZOE DANIEL: It's been an inauspicious start. In unprecedented scenes after a presidential inauguration, millions have rallied across America.

FEROZA SYED, PROTESTER: I am a woman, a minority, a Muslim, I'm LGBTQ ally, a daughter of immigrants and I am not going anywhere, Donald Trump so get ready because I think that complacency leads to a place of acceptance and we need to stand out, stand up and make it known that we are not going to be okay with his plan.

ZOE DANIEL: But on day one his plans took a back seat. Instead the new administration was focussed on attacking the media - falsely claiming inauguration crowd numbers were deliberately downplayed to undermine the new President.

DONALD TRUMP: 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 and I turn on and by mistake I get this network and it showed an empty field and it said we drew 250,000 people.

Now that's not bad but it's a lie.

CHRIS WALLACE: On the left you've got the Obama inaugural crowd, on the right you've got the Trump inaugural crowd. Which one is bigger?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Listen, you're also not saying that that picture was taken before he was even speaking.

I mean, you can ...

CHRIS WALLACE: I was there. I was there in the Mall.

REINCE PRIEBUS: I was there, too, Chris.

CHRIS WALLACE: Let me say, first of all, I think this is a ridiculous conversation.


CHRIS WALLACE: But there were huge areas, he said that there were crowds all the way to the Washington Monument.

REINCE PRIEBUS: There was. Yes, there was. I was sitting there ...

CHRIS WALLACE: You know what, put up the picture again. Are you saying there's a conspiracy here?

REINCE PRIEBUS: I'm saying there's an obsession by the media to delegitimise this president.

ZOE DANIEL: In fact, it's the media that's being delegitimised.

DONALD TRUMP: As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.

ZOE DANIEL: How do you think he'll go about reuniting the country after such a divisive campaign?

ED HILL, PRESIDENT TRUMP SUPPORTER: What is interesting is my wife and I followed him around the state of Florida, going to a number of rallies and we saw a disconnect between what was really happening at these rallies and what was being reported by the mainstream media.

ZOE DANIEL: Corey Lewandowski left Donald Trump's campaign last year after he was accused of aggressively grabbing a female reporter - an allegation he denied.

He remains a close ally. His office with a view to the President's new home.

COREY LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I think on Twitter, he's the person who drives the narrative, he drives the agenda. He makes the mainstream media who never believed in his campaign, respond to him.

Think about it - five years ago we would have to call a press conference every day to respond to some of these charges. Instead he puts out a tweet.

ZOE DANIEL: It's just one of many changes in style and approach that America's international allies are grappling with including Australia.

ANDREW SHEARER: I actually think this is a time to intensify our engagement with the United States and to try our best, working with our partners and Japan is particularly important here I think, to influence the incoming administration and to say why it's important that America remains deeply engaged in our region in security terms.

ZOE DANIEL: Andrew Shearer is a former national security advisor to John Howard and Tony Abbott.

ANDREW SHEARER: Australia is going to have to make the case in a way we haven't made it before and the best way to make that case is to step up our own efforts and our own actions.

So it's not the same as distancing ourselves from the United States but doing more in terms of building security ties with Japan, India, South Korea, south-east Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia and Indonesia potentially - all of these things can help us come to Washington and say we're not just a passenger in this relationship.

We take this alliance very seriously.

ZOE DANIEL: Over the weekend anti-Trump protests were held on every continent but the Trump presidency's impact on the global order is unlikely to become immediately clear.

In spite of all of the doubts and fears, his supporters remain confidence it will be a successful presidency.

COREY LEWANDOWSKI: He's the type of person who when you walk away from the table, both sides feel that they've got the best deal possible and they both walk away very happy and I think that's the type of leader he's going to be.

I think the world's going to look back and say this has been an unbelievably successful first year.