- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2019

Turning Point USA fired an aide this week after President Trump appeared in front of a doctored presidential seal evoking Russia and golf imagery while speaking at the Teen Student Action Summit Tuesday.

Although the seal looked relatively normal behind Mr. Trump as he spoke to more than a thousand students, the seal depicted a two-headed eagle — paralleling the Russian Federation coat of arms — and held a set of golf clubs in its left talon.

The seal also depicted a wad of cash in its other talon and instead of the normal phrase “E Pluribus Unum” — Latin for “out of many, one” — it has a phrase in Spanish that translates to “45 is a puppet.”

The official seal of the president features one eagle which holds 13 arrows in its left talon, representing the original colonies, and an olive branch in its right, representing peace.

TPUSA said they had “zero malicious intent” and said it was a simple Google Image search mistake.

“We’re sorry for the mix-up and meant no disrespect to the White House or the President or the advance team,” TPUSA said to CNN.

“One of our video team members did a Google Image search for a high-res png (file) presidential seal,” a source said, adding that the person responsible “did the search and with the pressure of the event, didn’t notice that it is a doctored seal.”

The source said that a member of TPUSA’s AV team was fired following the incident.

Charles Leazott, a former Republican who created the parody image, said the mix-up being an accident is “a load of crap.”

“You have to look for this. There’s no way this was an accident is all I’m saying,” he told The Washington Post, adding the person responsible is “either wildly incompetent or the best troll ever — either way, I love them.”

“I’ve got to be honest, I am so tickled in the most petty way possible that the president of the United States, who I despise, stood up and gave a talk in front of this graphic. Whoever put that up is my absolute hero,” he said.

The doctored seal was likely made to draw attention to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that members of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign accepted help from Russia in the 2016 presidential election, though the prosecutor could not establish a connection between Mr. Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.

The golf clubs likely reference criticisms that the president has taken too many golf outings while he has been president, with one site referencing almost 22 trips to resorts, costing taxpayers over $100 million.


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