Earlier this week, President Donald Trump gave a speech at a student summit organized by the conservative group Turning Point USA. The speech itself generated a number of headlines, but now a different aspect of the event is garnering quite a bit of attention. It turns out that Trump gave the speech in front of what appeared to be an official presidential seal, but upon a closer look, it turns out there are some concerning aspects of this seal that show it was altered in a way to essentially troll the president.
The Washington Post details that as Trump spoke Tuesday night, with Turning Point founder and executive director, Charlie Kirk, on stage with him, what appeared to be the official seal of the president was shown on a screen behind them. It seems that initially nobody noticed anything amiss. However, it turns out there had been changes made to that seal, which are raising eyebrows.
The seal featured a set of gold clubs being held in one foot of an eagle. This is surely a nod to Trump’s love of golf and his frequent trips to his own golf clubs. In the official seal, the eagle clasps 13 arrows, not golf clubs.
In addition, the fake seal quite closely resembles the bird that can be seen on the Russian coat of arms. The two-headed eagle is an image that features on the flags of Montenegro, Albania and Serbia too, and it is a symbol that represents dominance and empire. The official presidential seal has a solitary bald eagle.
Trump spoke in front of a fake presidential seal that included a Russian symbol. How it got there is a mystery. https://t.co/og3IF926cQ
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 25, 2019
The podium that Trump stood at to give his speech had the true official seal on the front of it. As Time notes, the event took place at a Marriott Hotel in a conference room, and nobody seems to know how the altered seal was incorporated into what was displayed on screen behind Trump.
The White House has said they did not see the seal before it appeared on screen, and Turning Point has said it was seemingly an audio/visual team mistake. A representative for the group said that using the fake seal wasn’t intentional, and that they have not yet discovered who was responsible for the apparent mistake.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) July 25, 2019
Journalist Julia Davis noted via Twitter that the fake seal also has a banner on it that says “45 is a puppet” in Spanish. It seems that the incident was shared on Russia’s state television, where those on the set got a big laugh out of the situation.
Reports suggest that this version of the seal has been found online and has been made available on some anti-Trump products for sale. That may explain, to a degree, where the image originated, but it doesn’t explain how it made it onto the screen behind President Donald Trump, as he delivered his speech for the Turning Point event earlier this week.
#Russia's state TV laughs at Trump appearing in front of a presidential seal doctored to include a two-headed eagle, which closely resembles the bird on the Russian coat of arms. Its left talons clutch a set of golf clubs, the banner reads in Spanish: “45 is a puppet.” pic.twitter.com/quKkpUprBN
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) July 25, 2019