The unnamed government photographer cropped the photo to make it appear as if "there had been more of a crowd" after he was informed that the president "wanted to see pictures that appeared to depict more spectators."
President Donald Trump's inauguration is coming back to haunt him.
A government photographer cropped photos of the pompous event in order to make the crowd look bigger after Trump complained to the National Park Service, according to federal records released Friday.
The unnamed photographer cropped the pictures to make it appear as if "there had been more of a crowd" after he was informed by an NPS communications official that the president "wanted to see pictures that appeared to depict more spectators," according to the Interior Department records.
The communications official put in the request after Trump had called NPS director Michael Reynolds the day after his inauguration to lament photos shared on the service's official social media accounts. The photos showed the crowd at Obama's inauguration dwarfing the one at Trump's and the president wanted Reynolds to provide him with other images, according to the records.
The NPS photos shared on social media infamously annoyed the president and resulted in an awkward exchange between reporters and ex-White House press secretary Sean Spicer in one of his first public appearances.
"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period," Spicer falsely told reporters.
Trump didn't specifically ask Reynolds to alter the photos, but the communications official said the president gave "the impression" he wanted them "cropped to show more of the crowd present at the event."
The photographer subsequently said he removed "the bottom" of the photos "where the crowd ended."
The unearthed records are part of an Interior Department Inspector General investigation into the inauguration ordeal. They were first obtained by The Guardian via a Freedom of Information Act request.