Early on the day of Donald Trump's 20 January 2017 inauguration, the above-reproduced images circulated on Twitter alongside claims that they depicted crowds present for the President-elect's swearing-in ceremonies:
At least one of two popular tweets was soon deleted, but traces of it remained in embeds and shares. A questionable aspect of the photographs was their timing, as they appeared on social media quite early, several hours before the ceremony began. Another questionable feature was the weather conditions they depicted, given that both photographs appeared to show mid-day sun although the morning of 20 January 2017 was clearly rainy in Washington D.C.:
First look at @realDonaldTrump and @MELANIATRUMP on #InaugurationDay — Melania wearing Ralph Lauren https://t.co/MkiMpIXwL6 pic.twitter.com/g6MGwU7rEz
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 20, 2017
Melania Trump turned to the most iconic name in American fashion for her Inauguration ensemble. https://t.co/bGdjV8MIIg pic.twitter.com/dUy9hBBnQh — WWD (@wwd) January 20, 2017
One of the two images actually depicted a June 2016 parade in Cleveland to celebrate the Cavaliers' NBA title, and image that had already been confused for a Trump rally in mid-2016.
The second photograph was also a sports-related image, one depicting the November 2015 Kansas City Royals baseball team's championship parade.
At the time these photographs were circulated, crowds had only just started gathering in Washington, D.C., ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration:
Here is the view looking down the National Mall pic.twitter.com/5WoWImhX36
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) January 20, 2017