A National Parks Services (NPS) photographer cropped photos of President Trump‘s Inauguration Day crowd to make the audience appear larger following a personal intervention from the president, according to an investigation by The Guardian.
Interior Department records obtained by the paper reveal that the president, upset by the photos showing a crowd smaller than that at former President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, requested a new set of photos that “accurately represented the inauguration crowd size.”
The photographer then cropped the photos “where the crowd ended.”
The records obtained by The Guardian through a Freedom of Information Act request somewhat contradict an official Interior Department inspector general report about the NPS photographer’s behavior, which did not mention the photos being cropped.
According to the documents, Trump had a phone call with acting NPS Director Michael Reynolds on Jan. 21, 2017, the morning after Inauguration Day. By that point, the side-by-side photographs showing the discrepancy in crowd size had made the rounds online and in the media.
Then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer called a number of NPS officials throughout the day seeking additional photographs of the crowd. Spicer, who later held a press briefing where he falsely claimed the crowd was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration,” called Reynolds twice during the day.
One NPS communications official told investigators that Reynolds told her specifically that the president wanted photos from the inauguration and that “she got the impression that President Trump wanted to see pictures that appeared to depict more spectators in the crowd.”
Via: The Hill