Donald Trump Campaign Quickly Deletes Inflated Daytona Crowd Photo After Finding It’s From 2004

Jonathan FerreyGetty Images

Donald Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale posted and then quickly deleted a photo showing Air Force One surrounded by fans at Daytona after realizing the image was actually from a 2004 George W. Bush appearance.

According to CNN, Parscale posted the 16-year-old image showing Air Force One taking off over a massive crowd packed into the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. He captioned the post with praise for Trump’s appearance at the event on Sunday.

“[Trump] won the #Daytona500 before the race even started,” he wrote.

The post remained live for several hours and nabbed 23,000 likes before it was removed. While it was online, the photographer, Jonathan Ferrey, commented, joking that he wasn’t at the race on Sunday to take the photo.

“I have a lot of talented colleagues photographing the Daytona 500 this year… I am unfortunately not there today, but apparently I won the Daytona 500 photography before the race even started,” Ferrey said.

Voice of America White House bureau chief Steve Herman also noted that the image wasn’t from Trump’s visit to the event, along with numerous other social media users.

The photo was replaced by a second one from Trump’s actual arrival, though the Daytona stands look far emptier than they did in the original photo.

Right-wing conservative website The Daily Wire also posted the image to illustrate Trump’s arrival at the NASCAR event, and this one remains at the top of the post as of this writing.

As CNN reports, Trump appeared at the event on Sunday, flying in to make a lap around the racetrack in his presidential limousine and to give an opening speech.

“There is no greater thrill than to join you at the world center of racing for the 62nd Daytona 500 – so exciting,” he began.

“To all of the drivers, technicians and pit crews here today, good luck and may the best team win. God bless you, God bless our military, God bless our veterans and God bless America. Have a great race,” Trump said.

Trump was the second president to serve as Grand Marshal of the parade, the first being George W. Bush. At the event, he gave the famous order “Gentlemen, start your engines,” and oversaw the 200-lap, 500-mile long race featuring 40 drivers.

The incident echoes past events where Trump or his team have inflated the size of his audience or altered photos featuring the president, intentionally and not. Trump famously claimed that his inauguration crowd size was larger than Obamas, a claim that proved false. Most recently, the National Archives, the government agency entrusted with archiving historical documents, was forced to replace an altered photo that removed Trump’s name from protest signs.