The Donald Trump administration has told voters that there are facts and alternative facts and the truth is not the truth. POTUS told a smaller than expected crowd of VFW veterans to not believe what they see and hear, just believe what Trump has told them. Then, the White House revealed its official lying image.
Early the first morning of his presidency Trump ordered a photographer working for the White House to crop an inaugural crowd photo. The man currently sitting in the Oval Office demanded that his crowd look bigger than that of President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
The Guardian discovered that this photographer cut out the spaces with no people “where the crowd ended.” By altering the perspective, cropping the photos created the illusion of a far bigger crowd than actually existed.
The documents revealed in The Guardian’s investigation, via a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, detailed that the commander-in-chief called the National Park Service (NPS) Director Michael Reynolds on January 21, 2017. Then, the former White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, followed up that day with multiple calls requesting photos that made the crowd appear larger than they really were.
Trump had insisted that his was the “biggest ever inauguration audience.” He demanded that the official photos match the president’s words. In the following days, Spicer repeated the president’s false claim.
Reporters were circulating side-by-side photographs of Trump’s and Obama’s crowds. However, the NPS inspector general’s office did not detail this visual discrepancy.
A redacted NPS communications official told The Guardian that Reynolds called her after the president’s call and said that Trump wanted his inauguration photos changed. She said:
‘She got the impression that President Trump wanted to see pictures that appeared to depict more spectators in the crowd,” and that the images released so far showed “a lot of empty areas.”‘
A second NPS official from its public affairs office said Spicer called her, too, on January 21, 2017. They wanted photos that:
‘Accurately represented the inauguration crowd size.’
She said his request was:
‘A request for NPS to provide photographs in which it appeared the inauguration crowd filled the majority of the space in the photograph.’
The NPS photographer’s name was redacted. He said he sent 25 photographs to the White House, but an official wanted:
‘Any photographs that showed the inauguration crowd sizes (and) a few more.’
The Guardian reported:
‘He said he edited the inauguration photographs to make them look more symmetrical by cropping out the sky and cropping out the bottom where the crowd ended. He said he did so to show that there had been more of a crowd.’
NY Mag reported that the NPS Twitter account that showed the actual crowd comparison:
‘The account retweeted two tweets — one about the Trump administration reportedly wiping LGBTQ, Climate Change, and Civil Rights pages from its website and one about the noticeably tiny crowd at Trump’s inauguration — that aren’t particularly flattering of President Trump.’
Then the NPS support office ordered all bureaus:
‘To immediately cease use of government Twitter accounts until further notice.’
On Trump’s first day, Spicer gave an infamous White House press briefing wherein he made the notorious false statement:
‘This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.