Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump's recent fascination with his inaugural crowd size shouldn't be a surprise. Going back to the very height of his business career, he's always been obsessed with demonstrably proving his popularity, especially through television ratings. The problem? Historically, he hasn't been very good at interpreting them.

  1. 1986 to the United States Football League (he owned a team): Games should be moved to the fall to go head-to head with the NFL on TV!The USFL folded. From a federal appeals court in a subsequent antitrust suit against the NFL: "Courts do not exclude evidence of a victim's suicide in a murder trial."
  2. Throughout the mid-2000s to an NBC publicity exec for The Apprentice: "Number one show on television, won its time slot."The NBC exec: "I'm looking at the numbers and at that point, say season five, for example, we were number 72. I can't tell that to him. I can't say that. Maybe I should have, maybe I should have gotten Jeff Zucker involved, but he became kind of a monster when it came to these ratings."
  3. January 25, 2013 on Twitter: "President Obama's inaugural had record low ratings. What does that portend?"The ratings were completely in line with second inaugurals.
  4. January 16, 2015 to the Television Critics' Association: The Celebrity Apprentice "is the #1 show on television."It was #67.
  5. January 16, 2015 to the Television Critics Association: Actually, I meant The Celebrity Apprentice is the highest-rated show on Mondays.That was Mike and Molly.
  6. July 29, 2016 on Twitter: "As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!"The first was the most watched debate in history, even up against MNF.
  7. July 30, 2016 on Twitter: "Nielson Media Research final numbers on ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: TRUMP 32.2 MILLION. CLINTON 27.8 MILLION. Thank you!"It's Nielsen. And the real numbers? Trump: 34.9m. Clinton 33.7m.
  8. November 27, 2016 on Twitter: "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally"He lost the popular vote by 2,864,903 votes. There is no evidence of any illegal votes.
  9. January 21, 2017: Trump sends Sean Spicer out to say that he had "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period."That briefing spawned "alternative facts."
  10. January 22, 2017 on Twitter: "Wow, television ratings just out: 31 million people watched the Inauguration, 11 million more than the very good ratings from 4 years ago!"Technically correct, but Obama got 37.7 million viewers for his first inauguration in 2009.

Go deeper

Unrest in Philadelphia after fatal police shooting of Black man

Demonstrators rally on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday during a tense second night of protests in Philadelphia over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man.

Driving the news: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a joint statement Monday that police were launching a "full investigation" to answer questions that arose from video that captured part of the incident with police.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.
3 hours ago - Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers win World Series

Mookie Betts slides home safely to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers won their seventh World Series in franchise history with a 3-1 Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. Shortstop Corey Seager was named the series MVP.

The big picture: It's the Dodgers' first championship since 1988, though they've won the NL West division in eight straight seasons and reached the World Series three times in the last four years.