Commentary about the size of his inauguration crowd made Mr. Trump increasingly angry on Friday, according to several people familiar with his thinking.
On Saturday, Mr. Trump told his advisers that he wanted to push back hard on “dishonest media” coverage — mostly referring to a Twitter post from a New York Times reporter showing side-by-side frames of Mr. Trump’s crowd and Mr. Obama’s in 2009. But most of Mr. Trump’s advisers urged him to focus on the responsibilities of his office during his first full day as president.
However, in his remarks at the C.I.A., he wandered off topic several times, at various points telling the crowd he felt no older than 39 (he is 70); reassuring anyone who questioned his intelligence by saying, “I’m, like, a smart person”; and musing out loud about how many intelligence workers backed his candidacy…
But most of his remarks were devoted to attacking the news media. And Mr. Spicer picked up the theme later in the day in the White House briefing room. But his appearance, according to the people familiar with Mr. Trump’s thinking, went too far, in the president’s opinion.