A timeline of the National Park Service’s Twitter shutdown

Emails show the gag order actually came from NPS’ communications team - although Trump was still upset enough to reach out

Written by Vanessa Nason
Edited by JPat Brown

At some point on inauguration day, the National Park Service’s main account retweeted two controversial tweets, one proclaiming “civil rights, climate change, and health care scrubbed clean” from the White House website, and the other a side-by-side photo comparison of Donald Trump’s inaugural crowd and Barack Obama’s in 2009.

Amid cries of NPS going “rogue” and pushing back against Trump’s presidency, those within the Department of the Interior were actually scrambling to find out who had posted to the account, and dealing with reporters asking about the apparent shutdown of all NPS Twitter accounts.

We filed a request with the National Park Service and received 995 pages of responsive emails. Contrary to what was reported at the time, the shutdown wasn’t a direct order from Trump’s administration – although, according to one email, Trump was upset about the photo enough to reach out.

We’ve put together a timeline of what happened within the NPS on inauguration day, and the resulting investigation into who actually posted those tweets.


Image via the National Park Service