Getting to the source of why the Park Service is up in arms!
On the morning after Donald Trump’s inauguration, acting National Park Service director Michael T. Reynolds received an extraordinary summons: The new president wanted to talk to him.
In a Saturday phone call, Trump personally ordered Reynolds to produce additional photographs of the previous day’s crowds on the National Mall, according to three individuals who have knowledge of the conversation. The president believed that they might prove that the media had lied in reporting that attendance had been no better than average.
Trump also expressed anger over a retweet sent from the agency’s account, in which side-by-side photographs showed far fewer people at his swearing-in than had shown up to see Barack Obama’s inaugural in 2009.
According to one account, Reynolds had been contacted by the White House and given a phone number to call. When he dialed it, he was told to hold for the president.
For Trump, who sees himself and his achievements in superlative terms, the inauguration’s crowd size has been a source of grievance that he appears unable to put behind him. It is a measure of his fixation on the issue that he would devote part of his first morning in office to it — and that he would take out his frustrations on an acting Park Service director.