On 21 Jan 2017, the White House called a press conference where the press secretary accused the media of "deliberately false reporting" on two issues of which the number of people attending President Trump's inauguration was one. The white floor covering on the National Mall on the day of the inauguration was one of the pieces of evidence which the press secretary used to support his assertion that Trump's inauguration had a greater attendance than the previous inauguration and that the media was deliberately misleading the public by reporting otherwise.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the following:
This was the first time in our nation's history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the Mall. That had the effect of highlighting any areas where people were not standing, while in years past the grass eliminated this visual.
Source: "Sean Spicer held a press conference. He didn’t take questions. Or tell the whole truth", Chris Cillizza, Washington Post, 21 Jan 2017
Was President Trump's inauguration "the first time ... that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the Mall"?