New Documents Suggest Trump Inauguration Photos Were 'Edited to Enhance Crowd Size'

New Documents Suggest Trump Inauguration Photos Were 'Edited to Enhance Crowd Size'

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.

Lead image credit: Ludovic Gauthier on Unsplash.

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35 Comments

Michael Jin's picture

And in other news surprises absolutely nobody and doesn't actually matter...

David Penner's picture

Everyone is out having a fun Saturday and Jack Alexander is at home writing an article about the crowd size at Trump's inauguration from two years ago.

an investigative report shows the president is lying about facts... sorry to ruin your fun saturday but we need to talk about ethics and photography here.

Michael Jin's picture

And THESE are the facts that we want to argue about? THIS is where we're deciding to draw the battle lines? An administration's lies about the number of attendees at an event?

I'm sorry, but this is insane... And this is coming from someone who is counting the days until Trump is out of office (or if there is a God, impeached).

Really? You can count that high? :-)

It's not only this, we're talking about a whole bunch of issues surrounding the truthfulness of his administration. just look at how many of his administration have been sentenced already, him lying about payments to a porn star, and lying about collusion. the amount of energy he and this administration put into lying about the inauguration is ridiculous, that's tax payer money wasted. i'm a little pissed about how my tax dollars are spent, i'm hoping you would too

There's a big difference between lying and being wrong. I'll assume you're just wrong about half your comment; it would be rude to say you're lying.

Sorry buddy, he lied. Here's him saying he knows nothing about the payment then later admitting that he knew about it. In the inauguration he says his crowd was bigger, when really it wasn't. It's surprising that you're ready to let the guy off the hook. Facts are facts, no room for alternative ones here.

https://www.nbcnews.com/video/trump-denies-stormy-daniels-payment-120366...

Neither you or I know all the details regarding the payments. I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and in either case, he did nothing wrong. And for the last time, there's a big difference between lying and being wrong. I already explained my willingness to forgive and overlook things.
By the way, I was in San Francisco about six weeks ago. I thought the "poop on the sidewalks" thing was overblown until my wife accidently kicked a pile, a couple blocks from the trolley staging area! :-( Aside from that, I thought it was a beautiful place. :-)

I would do the same but one must acknowledge that a lie has been committed and own up to it, then I would be willing to forgive. In this case, he lied about the payments and the jury is still out on whether it was "wrong." in my mind it is, especially if he was attacking another candidate's integrity with payments, taxes, and so on.

Poop on the sidewalks here is a real thing. That's the least of our worries, the needles are the biggest.

I didn't see any needles. :-)

Michael Jin's picture

This is not a political site. It's a photography site. What's ridiculous here is that this is being posted to a photography site since it's a question of ethics and journalism—not photography. What's more ridiculous than the amount of resources the administration is spending lying about inauguration attendance is the amount of collective resources we're spending to debunk the lie about the inauguration attendance.

You've got families separated from their children, an administration with ridiculous levels of turn-over among the senior staff, people tied to the president going on trial and getting convicted, numerous government positions that have not yet been filled despite us being two years into this administration, a president that was pretty much going golfing every weekend along with his entire entourage and security detachment for a while there, the start of the trade war with China, the fortification of China's regional hold in the Pacific which diminishes our sphere of influence, US citizens being detained by immigration authorities who are skeptical of their citizenship, an administration too cowardly to call out neo-Nazis and white supremacists for being the disgusting hate groups that they are, the alienation of many of our closest allied nations, etc.

But while all of this is going on, we're going to talk about how many people showed up to an inauguration or whether he paid some porn star to STFU? At this point, WHO THE HELL CARES ABOUT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AT THE INAUGURATION!? A waste of tax payer money? Do you seriously think it cost any significant amount of tax payer money to fabricate such an image? Do you have any idea how much it costs for the president to make a single trip to his resort for a round of golf? Do you know what a single bomb costs? A crap photo cloning job doesn't even register as a blip when it comes to government spending.

And who cares about the porn star thing? Yes, he's a disgusting pig of a human being. Is anyone particularly surprised that a guy with tons of money that did business in New York real estate for decades is a terrible person? As a native New Yorker, I would be genuinely surprised if he made all that money in this city and wasn't a horrible, rotten person to his very core.

William Howell's picture

Jack, how do the people in England think of President Trump?
Here in America, he has almost perfect political polarization, you either love President Trump or you don’t.
As for me, I love him!!!

I take back everything I said about you in the other article! :-)

I'm in the middle, he does some good things (pushes to lower medical costs, NK, jobs) and then he lies about this, paying Stormy, Russian collusion, insults war veteran McCain, etc... and i'm back to where I started. These days more bad than good.

William Howell's picture

Edit: Oops, I apologize I thought this response was from the author of the article, duh.

Cool, I don’t know how much you know about our electoral system, I really don’t know the minutiae about politics in the UK, but we have an election coming in November and if Trump’s party maintains control of the House of Representatives, then President Trump will have the political capital to build is very own Hadrian’s Wall, you know the wall on the southern border.

Most of the bad news you hear right now is actually put out by the Trump political machine!
He is banking on his base to show up out fear and frustration that the democrats will undo most everything he has accomplished.
He is trying to goad the democrats into saying that they will start impeachment in the House of Representatives, which Senate minority leader Schumer said the House should if they, (the democrats), become the majority.
Thus when crunch time comes, oh say about the first week in October, the Republican Party will run ads showing prominent Democrats saying that impeachment is the order of the day.

Some years ago, I heard a commentator state that he had no problem with Bill Clinton's infidelities. His point being, someone who can convince a woman to have sex with him, being married, can convince our allies and enemies alike, to do things to benefit us. He then pointed to JFK, FDR, et. al. as examples of this. I didn't like it but couldn't find fault in his point.
Like him or not, Trumps personality flaws are a part of the package resulting in the kind of successes that Obama had wet dreams about. :-/

Clinton messed up, we're not debating that. Whether you like Trump or not, the president shouldn't waste tax dollars and blatantly lie to protect his ego. The president also shouldn't be using campaign dollars to pay porn stars, or employing administration members that openly colluded with a foreign entity. As a photographer or journalist, you should be concerned about what he's done to censor and block their coverage. If you can't agree on that then you're looking the other way and letting him off the hook.

One: you entirely missed my point. Two: none of the things you allege are demonstrably true. Where do you get your facts?
As for letting him off the hook for his transgressions, and there are many (just not the things you list), I'm prepared to forgive people their faults in the hope they'll overlook mine.

Christos Dikos's picture

Working hard tying in any photography angle to bash Trump.

I’m tired of hearing people cry about him already, the job market seems to disagree with the sentiment. Not to mention the stock market.

Studio 403's picture

Hey Fstoppers, hope you stop this nonsense, please keep your personal dodo off here, I just want to learn about photography. Might have to leave you guys, not that you care, But keep it simple, grow up guys

Studio 403's picture

The post again , your close to showing a “fake article” not knowing if its true, the word suggest....I suggest Fstoppers is putting personalities over principles.....Keeep it simple, Teach me, show me gadgets, This is a new low for you guys.

Tom Lew's picture

This fstoppers story is gonna be uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.

Mark Niebauer's picture

ABsolute BS. Terrible article

Ryan Sauve's picture

Surprised to see that this site is rife full of Trump apologists. It's an article about ethics, get over it.

David Penner's picture

Do photographers have to be Democrats?

Michael Jin's picture

Yes it is, but we're not politicians or journalists. The only ethics involved here as far as the photographer and retoucher are concerned is whether they delivered the services promised to the paying client.

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