New documents have emerged which appear to strongly suggest the official pictures of President Trump’s inauguration were manipulated by a government photographer in order to give the impression the crowd was bigger than its actuality.
Some very selective cropping was apparently used in order to hide empty space where the crowd ended. The report claims that on his first day of presidency, Trump requested images that were cut especially to enhance the size of the crowd, after allegedly being angered that the turnout was less than that of his predecessor, Obama.
The Guardian reportedly obtained the documents through the inspector general of the US Interior Department, gaining access under the Freedom of Information Act. It’s also claimed that at-the-time White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made repeated calls to locate the “more flattering” photographs.
There’s no clarification as to whether the manipulated images were ever released to the public.
At the time of the inauguration, the National Park Service (NPS) retweeted various tweets purportedly showing pictures of Trump’s significantly smaller crowd. An anonymous NPS rep recalls, however, that although it was insinuated, a request to specifically crop the photos was never issued.
It’s said the official NPS photographer “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.”
The Guardian has more on this story.