It turns out the story of the National Park Service defying Donald Trump runs a whole lot deeper and bolder than any of us had previously known. It had already been documented that after the Park Service tweeted photos of Trump’s small inauguration crowd size, he revoked its Twitter privileges, prompting employees to launch an unofficial Twitter account instead. But now being revealed that Trump personally called the Park Service and demanded that it lie on his behalf.
Donald Trump got on the phone directly with National Park Service acting director Michael T. Reynolds and ordered him to somehow come up with photos that would show a large crowd at the inauguration. By this time Trump had seen the existing photos of the inauguration crowd size on television himself (and been “visibly enraged” by them), meaning that he knew he had drawn a small crowd. By ordering the Park Service to come up with photos showing a large crowd, he was knowingly ordering the agency to lie on his behalf and manufacture some kind of fake or misleading photos.
This incredible exchange has been documented by three different sources to the Washington Post, meaning that they’re further rebelling by leaking it. Even more incredibly, Trump’s deputy press secretary is refusing to deny that it happened. As we all know by now, the National Park Service never did lie on his behalf or manufacture the kind of photos he was demanding, meaning that it ultimately defied Trump’s orders.
This incident may help explain what prompted National Park Service employees to launch the unofficial @AtlNatParkSer Twitter account, which is has since been using to openly rebel against Donald Trump by posting censored climate change data and documenting Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior. The National Park Service continues to tweet freely on the alternate account. The resistance against Donald Trump is now being led by Smokey the Bear.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report