Do These Twitter Images Depict Trump Inauguration Crowds?

Early on Inauguration Day 2017, some older unrelated images of crowds were passed off as depictions of the Trump inauguration.

  • Published 20 January 2017

Claim

Early images depict massive crowds at the 20 January 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump.

So many people gathering in the National Mall for #InaugurationDay. Don't believe what you see on TV. All fake news. inauguration trump crowd

Collected via Twitter, January 2017

Rating

Origin

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:

fake inaugural crowds

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.:

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:

Snopes.com
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

Editorial
  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
Operations
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes