A new report from the Guardian claims that President Donald Trump personally intervened to get a government photographer to edit photos of his inauguration to hide evidence that his crowd size was smaller than the crowd at former President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
The publication has obtained documents showing that the photographer who snapped photos at the inauguration “cropped out empty space ‘where the crowd ended’ for a new set of pictures requested by Trump on the first morning of his presidency.”
According to the report, the National Park Service had to scramble to alter the original photographs on the day after the inauguration in order to appease a furious Trump. Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made “multiple” calls to the NPS to badger them about when the new photographs would be ready, the records show.
One official, whose name was redacted in the documents, says that Trump “wanted to see pictures that appeared to depict more spectators in the crowd” because many of the original ones showed “a lot of empty areas.”
Trump was furious when he saw that crowds for Obama’s 2009 inauguration dwarfed the crowds at his own inauguration in 2017. The president also infamously sent out Spicer to falsely claim that Trump’s inauguration crowd had been the largest in American history — a claim that Spicer later admitted that he regretted making.