What really happened with the fake presidential seal at Donald Trump’s event?

United States President Donald J. Trump makes remarks at Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit 2019

This is just a bizarre story. This week, Donald Trump appeared at the Teen Student Action Summit, which was promoted and hosted by the PAC Turning Point USA. All of these organizations are Republican or Republican-adjacent. When Trump appeared on stage, the presidential seal appeared on the large screen behind Trump. Except it wasn’t the presidential seal:

The image that was projected behind President Trump on July 23 has a number of alterations, including a two-headed eagle that’s carrying golf clubs in one talon and cash in another. The writing above the eagle is supposed to read “E Pluribus Unum,” which is Latin for “out of many, one.” But the photoshopped creation that appeared behind Trump reads “45 es un titere,” which is Spanish for “45 is a puppet.”

The alterations to the presidential seal were first revealed by the Washington Post, which notes that the two-headed eagle bears a striking resemblance to Russia’s coat of arms. Judging by photos from the event, the image was pixelated enough that some of the details from the image, like the Soviet hammer and sickle on the flag, could not be clearly distinguished by the crowd.

[From Gizmodo]

As it turns out, the fake seal was created by a former Republican named Charles Leazott. He’s a graphic designer who made the fake seal in 2016 as a way to work through his feelings about Trump, whom he loathes. Leazott gave an interview to the Washington Post about how he made it:

He substituted the arrows in the eagle’s claw for a set of golf clubs — a nod to the new president’s favorite pastime. In the other set of talons, he swapped the olive branch for a wad of cash and replaced the United States’ Latin motto with a Spanish insult. Then, his coup de grace: a two-headed imperial bird lifted straight from the Russian coat of arms, an homage to the president’s checkered history with the adversarial country.

“This is the most petty piece of art I have ever created,” the Richmond resident said in an interview with The Washington Post.

The seal wasn’t meant for a wide audience. But then, years later, it wound up stretched across a jumbo-tron screen behind an unwitting President Trump as he spoke to a conference packed with hundreds of his young supporters. That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, The Post was the first to report that the seal was fake — and that neither the White House, nor Turning Point USA, the organizers of the star-studded Teen Student Action Summit, knew how it got there or where it came from. Leazott woke up Thursday and saw the news in a Reddit post as he drank his morning coffee. Then, a torrent of messages.

“It’s been chaos,” he said. “This is not what I expected when I woke up today…I’m a graphic designer, it’s just something I tossed together,” he said. “This was just a goofy thing for some people I knew. I had no idea it would blow up like this.”

By Thursday morning, the Turning Point spokesman said the group had identified the staffer responsible for turning Leazott’s design into a trending topic. He called the incident a last-minute oversight, the result of a quick online search to find a second high-resolution photo of the presidential seal to place behind Trump. He said the mistake was “unacceptable.”

“We did let the individual go,” the spokesman said. “I don’t think it was malicious intent, but nevertheless.” Leazott doesn’t buy it. He thinks whoever was responsible had to know exactly what they were looking for. He believes the person dug up the image he created and used it intentionally. “That’s a load of crap,” he said in response to Turning Point’s explanation. “You have to look for this. There’s no way this was an accident is all I’m saying.”

[From WaPo]

I don’t think it was an accident either. I’ve made mistakes with photos and photo IDs and I have to Google obvious sh-t on a regular basis. You would really have to LOOK for this fake seal and it’s not like it would have popped up second or third in a Google search (before this week). So what really happened? And why?

United States President Donald J. Trump makes remarks at Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit 2019

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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41 Responses to “What really happened with the fake presidential seal at Donald Trump’s event?”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    It definitely was not an accident. And I am here for it.

    • KittenHeels says:

      Not sure about that. Turning Point are racist nutters and I don’t see how anyone even mildly anti-Trump would end up in their ranks.

      • Anance says:

        And numbingly stupid! One of their “protests” agst immigration policy activists consisted on their own members donning diapers and crawling around in huge playpens. All in front of media cameras, videos everything.

        I want it to be intentional, but with this group, we can’t rule out ignorance of what the Presidential seal looks like.

    • runcmc says:

      Same! Whatever kid in the AV department did this- GOOD FOR YOU! Definitely worth it.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, they keep saying that (they protest too much) and I’m like sure, Jan.

      there is NO WAY that someone who was looking for an actual prez seal would take one from an OBVIOUS parody site.

      they just don’t want to admit that even some dedicated, long-time GOP members loathe this man.

    • Bella Bella says:

      If you read other interviews with that guy, he talks about how grateful he is to the prankster. I AM AS WELL. Way to change the narrative for the fascist youth gathering that event was conceived to be.

  2. B n A fan says:

    So, what’s wrong with this presidential seal. It said the president is “a puppet” that’s true. Hillary said that 3 years ago, 🤫😂👍. They should have added a con artist and a illigimate President, thanks to Russia.

  3. KittenHeels says:

    Like I said above, Turning Point USA and their diaper-wearing spokesguy Charlie Kirk are rabid Trumpists. I would truly believe that someone googled something like “POTUS seal Trump”, and picked the most hi-res one on a white background they could use.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Kirk and his followers display mind boggling ignorance on Twitter hourly. I believe they seriously thought that was the seal. They probably never looked closely at it. They ARE that stupid.

  4. Megan says:

    This shows how truly incompetent the Trump administration is. The entity hosting the event is supposed to receive an advance package with all images, dietary preferences, podium height, and anything else relevant to ensuring the president looks presidential. They fail at matters large and small. It’s terrifying if you think about it too much.

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      Agreed. On the surface it’s humorous but really, it’s utterly terrifying.

  5. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    I laughed hysterically before breaking down into an anxiety attack. This administration is totally incompetent and it should scare every one of us.

  6. Lightpurple says:

    In another show of Republicans who claim to be more patriotic than any patriot ever but don’t know anything, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel sent Democratic members of Congress a nasty letter about Democrats disrespecting fallen troops by condoning flag burning with a folded up flag. and a copy of the flag code. Democratic representative Seth Moulton, a veteran who served in Iraq, posted a picture of the letter and the flag, thanked her for them, and then admonished her for folding the flag incorrectly.

    Charlie Kirk of TPUSA is an idiot, whose whole act is attacking colleges for being liberal and stifling conservatives. Kirk was stifled because no school would accept him. His organization is heavily bankrolled by wealthy Republican extremists. At least 3 kids, including Parkland’s Kyle Kashuv, the darling of the NRA, have had to resign TPUSA leadership posts in the past month because they were caught posting extremely racist videos or messages on social media.

    These people are morons and have no idea what anything should look like.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel sent Democratic members of Congress a nasty letter about Democrats disrespecting fallen troops by condoning flag burning with a folded up flag. and a copy of the flag code.”

      huh…I wonder if she was as upset when 45 slandered a fallen soldier and then mocked his parents. or when 45 mocked McCain as “not a hero” because he was captured and tortured. or every time 45 humps a flag on stage at one of his Nazi rallies. ‘murica!

      • Lightpurple says:

        She dropped Romney from her name because Trump told her that she couldn’t keep her job if she didn’t. She’s all about getting paid. That’s it.

    • Elkie says:

      Charlie “my Momma still buys my underwear” Kirk failed to get into Westpoint – a college with a mere 9% acceptance rate – after spending his childhood being assured by his parents that he was owed a place.

      He then proved exactly why he was rejected by whining about affirmative action despite their intake being disproportionately white and 80% male.

      • Erinn says:

        That sounds about right. “if they’d just accepted more mediocre white guys instead of talented people of color, I’d have had that spot!”

  7. Himmiefan says:

    I love the doctored seal. I’d love to print off a good copy.

    • Bella Bella says:

      There are t-shirts and other goods for sale at that guy’s website.

      • B n A fan says:

        There are also T-shirt’s and hats on line with the logo “Make America Sane Again” SAGA I’m getting a blue 🧢, Vote Blue America, Anybody but Trump.

      • Trashaddict says:

        I like the concept of making America sane again, but “MASA” just does not sound good. “Dump Trump” does have a certain ring to it…

  8. Nicegirl says:

    I don’t really care, do u?

    Jk. This shit is unreal. It’s terrifying. They cannot even get the official seal graphic to the event organizers? Such basic stuff they keep missing. This administration is criminal and dangerous.

    If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

  9. Hildog says:

    This was definitely no mistake- I would love to see more peaceful statements and protests like this. Somehow the party formerly known as Republican, thinks computer hacks and malicious actors can ONLY negatively affect the Democratic party. Unrelated- please watch the final season of Veep if you have not already…

  10. Fluffy Princess says:

    Personally, I think it’s hilarious. And whoever slipped that seal into the official package of goods, is a damn hero.

    It’s just another point in the column of what a disgrace this whole administration is down to the very interns. No one with an ounce of smarts wants to work for this criminal conspiracy, so they literally are hiring the bottom of the barrel. No, the underside of the bottom of the barrel.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yeah, any halfway competent intern could ensure the actual Presidential Seal was provided. This one on the other hand, I love. Trump will probably buy it & use it for his family crest. No, wait, he’ll just steal it.

  11. The Original Mia says:

    Another example of the incompetence of this administration. His advance team should have checked everything, including the seal. Rank amateurs.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I note as well that the [p]resident himself didn’t notice that it wasn’t the actual presidential seal. The fish rots from the head, and the incompetence flows from the top. Pathetic.

  12. minx says:

    That seal is just perfection…the golf clubs, the cash, the “45 is a puppet.” I’m in awe.

  13. Jaded says:

    They should give whoever pulled this off a ticker-tape parade.

  14. lolalola3 says:

    oh dear god I love this story soooo much! Every time I see this image it makes me happy. I know Trump will never believe that the world–yes and even some republicans–are aware of what a buffoon he is but this photo drives the point home. As Kathy Griffin would say, Suck it, Trump!

  15. MachineElf says:

    I grew up with someone who ended up being high up in this organization. I actually dated him for a few years. His parents brainwashed him with Fox News from the time he was a kid. He was a genuinely nice person but his Evangelical Republican parents molded him to become this. They of course hated me for being Liberal. I was his one and only rebellion.

  16. Lightpurple says:

    Trump has other things to worry about this afternoon. House Judiciary Committee is coming for him. https://judiciary.house.gov/sites/democrats.judiciary.house.gov/files/documents/FINAL%20PETITION.pdf

    • Valerie says:

      I keep hearing this and nothing happens. Every time we think they’re going to nab him, his distraction techniques work, and everyone backs off or fails to move in the first place.

      • Lightpurple says:

        The House Judiciary committee has not filed for grand jury documents related to the Mueller investigation before and this document very clearly spells out what they are doing. Meanwhile, they are up to 100 representatives calling for impeachment, including Katherine Clark, who has a high leadership position. She will pull more. As will this. Pelosi needs to know she has the votes in place before she moves and the votes are slowly falling in line.

  17. Alana says:

    Why do you link to the American version of Millenium when you can link to the ORIGINAL SWEDISH version?

  18. 10KTurtle says:

    I’ll be honest, I might not have recognized the double-headed eagle as wrong. What is that syndrome where you look at something and think it’s correct but it isn’t- Mandela syndrome or something? I know it has an eagle on it, but I can’t say I could confirm on the spot it’s not supposed to be a double-headed eagle, but I know I could say it absolutely should not be clutching golf clubs! How could nobody on Emperor Babyfists’ team have not noticed that was wrong? Everybody on his staff probably sees that seal 100 times a day? [We all know why the Emperor himself didn't know it was wrong]

  19. Reece says:


    But seriously, how did they not know this?
    And if it was done on purpose, who did it and where is their Presidential Medal of Freedom?

  20. LizzieB says:

    Yay! I thought it was a great joke. Kudos on the joke!