Trump pulls photo of Pa. troopers from atop social media after police say it was for memorabilia only

UPDATE: Cops hurt at Capitol riot say Pa. troopers posing with Trump was ‘unacceptable’: report

Donald Trump removed a photo from the top of his social media page Thursday of him posing with 31 uniformed Pa. troopers after police said they did not give the former president permission to publish it.

Trump left the photo in his news feed on his social media account at “Truth Social,” a platform he launched after getting banned from Twitter that attracts his fans. But he removed it as the banner of his account sometime before 4 p.m., hours after PennLive posted a story about the controversy, and replaced it with a generic crowd photo from the rally in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania last week where the troopers were helping to provide security.

Trump’s former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino Jr. had published the photo last week, hours after the campaign rally ended, but also removed the photo Thursday afternoon of Trump standing amid rows of troopers from his newsfeed on Truth Social. The photo was still visible on his Twitter account shortly before 5 p.m.

A police spokesman said troopers working security at the campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre agreed to a “private photo op” with the former president thinking they would get memorabilia, not plastered on social media.

The photo generated a firestorm on Twitter, with thousands of people commenting that it appeared to be an endorsement, which would be inappropriate, and reflected poorly on the police since Trump is facing multiple criminal investigations and after police officers were injured and killed in the Jan. 6 riots.

Trump swapped out his banner photo out without comment. His most recent posts at the time were about the death of the Queen of England.

Police officials said they did not reach out to the Trump campaign and did not know what prompted the change in photos. PennLive has reached out to Trump’s team but has not heard back.

A Pa. police spokesman on Thursday explained how the photo came to be taken at the rally where Trump was stumping for Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidates for U.S. senator and governor.

“Troopers in the photo all voluntarily participated, again with the understanding that it was a photo op with the former president to be sent to them as memorabilia,” said Myles Snyder, the spokesman. “It was not sanctioned or disseminated by the Pennsylvania State Police, nor was PSP asked permission to use the photo opportunity for anything other than a private photo with the former president.”

The police agency has a policy against officers appearing in uniform at non-department events without permission from commanders. Another department policy says troopers: “shall not use their position for political influence.”

Gov. Wolf’s administration said they were going to “look into the matter,” after the photo was published before millions on social media.


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