BREAKING NEWS North State Covid-19 updates: 91 new cases in Sutter County Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Photographer admits editing inauguration photos

A government photographer told investigators that he intentionally cropped photos of President Donald Trump's inauguration to remove empty space and make the audience look larger, according to newly released documents.

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 3:42 AM
Updated: Sep 10, 2018 4:00 AM

A government photographer told investigators that he intentionally cropped photos of President Donald Trump's inauguration to remove empty space and make the audience look larger, according to newly released documents.

The admission, contained in newly released records from a 2017 investigation, shed new light on what happened after the National Park Service shared a social media post comparing the crowds that attended the inaugurations of Trump and former President Barack Obama.

Trump claimed footage of the event did not jibe with the number of people he saw from the stage. His then-press secretary, Sean Spicer, gathered reporters the following evening and claimed, "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -- period."

The identity of the photographer and many other government officials are redacted from the documents, which were first obtained by The Guardian.

The documents recount the call Trump placed on his first full day in office to the then-acting park service director, Michael Reynolds.

INTERACTIVE: The inauguration of Donald J. Trump

Reynolds told investigators he spoke with Trump at about 9:30 on the morning after the inauguration, and that the President "asked him to provide pictures of the inauguration," investigators with the Interior Department Office of Inspector General wrote in their notes.

Reynolds then relayed the request to multiple department staffers, including an unnamed communications employee, who said she was told, "Trump wanted to see the pictures NPS had of the inauguration."

The official "said she got the impression that President Trump wanted to see pictures that appeared to depict more spectators in the crowd," the notes read. "She said that the pictures the public media had released had wide angles and showed a lot of empty areas. She assumed that the pictures the White House was asking for needed to be cropped to show more of the crowd present at the event, but acknowledged that Reynolds did not ask for this."

Spicer, the White House press secretary, also reached out to the park service, and a staffer said she understood he asked "for NPS to provide photographs in which it appeared the inauguration crowd filled the majority of the space in the photograph."

The request for additional photographs was relayed to at least two park service photographers who had worked at the event. One told investigators he arrived to his office about 30 minutes after Trump and Reynolds spoke, and that he cropped the photos, including removing "the bottom where the crowd ended."

"He said he did so to show that there had been more of a crowd," the investigators' notes read. "He said he believed that was what [redacted] wanted him to do. He said [redacted] had not specifically asked him to crop the photographs to show more of a crowd."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1160940

Reported Deaths: 18968
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3783237543
San Bernardino884531129
Riverside836851434
San Diego75305988
Orange731521559
Kern39721447
Fresno37021477
Sacramento35143557
Santa Clara32049470
Alameda28225502
San Joaquin25318504
Contra Costa23146258
Stanislaus21145422
Tulare20352305
Ventura18637175
Imperial15725356
San Francisco14874160
Monterey14354116
San Mateo13707170
Sonoma11712157
Merced11460179
Santa Barbara11166135
Kings1035987
Solano1003681
Marin7621129
Placer622468
Madera604785
San Luis Obispo588535
Shasta460147
Yolo447674
Santa Cruz413228
Butte381259
Sutter305715
Napa290417
El Dorado20914
Yuba194810
San Benito178416
Lassen17153
Tehama156525
Mendocino146822
Nevada11639
Glenn8837
Lake87719
Tuolumne8738
Humboldt8199
Colusa6826
Siskiyou5822
Mono5093
Amador47016
Calaveras46622
Del Norte2981
Inyo28316
Plumas1920
Trinity1360
Mariposa1242
Modoc1190
Alpine470
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 63°
Oroville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 62°
Paradise
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 63°
Chester
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 38°
Red Bluff
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 63°
Willows
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 63°
Your Thanksgiving will be sunny & breezy with mild temperatures.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events