Advertisement

US Park Service photos challenge Donald Trump on inauguration crowd size

Trump Inauguration: Size comparison of Trump vs. Obama crowds
WATCH ABOVE: Trump Inauguration: Size comparison of Trump vs. Obama crowds

WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Park Service on Monday released dozens of photographs of President Donald Trump’s inauguration that appear to counter Trump’s claim that up to 1.5 million attended the event at the Capitol and National Mall.

The photos were released in response to news media requests made through the Freedom of Information Act. The park service also released photos from President Barack Obama’s two inaugurations. The photos show the 2009 event far outstripped the number of people who attended Trump’s inauguration.

The National Mall on Jan. 20, 2017, at 11:51 a.m. ET.
The National Mall on Jan. 20, 2017, at 11:51 a.m. ET. National Park Service

While there are no time stamps, the photos clearly show crowds gathering near the Capitol’s West Front stage for the ceremony. Crowds did not extend to the Washington Monument as Trump later asserted. Large swaths of empty space are visible on the Mall.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Donald Trump accuses media of lying about size of inauguration crowd, says about ‘million and half’ attended

The National Mall on Jan. 20, 2017, at 11:56 a.m. ET.
The National Mall on Jan. 20, 2017, at 11:56 a.m. ET. National Park Service

White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that news media photos of the inauguration were “intentionally framed in a way…to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall.” The park service photos are from a variety of angles, both from the air and on the ground.

Photos taken during Obama’s 2009 inauguration showed substantially more people on the Mall than during Trump’s swearing-in.

This pair of photos shows a view of the crowd on the National Mall at the inaugurations of President Barack Obama, above, on Jan. 20, 2009, and President Donald Trump, below, on Jan. 20, 2017. The photo above and the screengrab from video below were both shot shortly before noon from the top of the Washington Monument.
This pair of photos shows a view of the crowd on the National Mall at the inaugurations of President Barack Obama, above, on Jan. 20, 2009, and President Donald Trump, below, on Jan. 20, 2017. The photo above and the screengrab from video below were both shot shortly before noon from the top of the Washington Monument. AP Photo

Spicer said the audience at Trump’s inauguration “was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.”

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH: Kellyanne Conway defends White House press secretary’s inauguration numbers as ‘alternative facts’

Kellyanne Conway defends White House press secretary’s inauguration numbers as ‘alternative facts’
Kellyanne Conway defends White House press secretary’s inauguration numbers as ‘alternative facts’

The exact size of the crowd at the Jan. 20 swearing-in may never be known. The National Park Service stopped providing crowd estimates in the 1990s.

It is not known how many people watched the ceremony on television and online worldwide. In the U.S., Nielsen estimates 31 million viewers watched TV coverage, but that’s less than Obama’s and Ronald Reagan’s first inaugurations.