The Screw-Up Behind the Hilarious Presidential Seal Fiasco, Explained

“Zero malicious intent.”

Andrew Harnik/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

At first glance, it looks just like the official seal of the President of the United States.

But look closer. The eagle’s left talon clutches not arrows, but a bundle of golf clubs. Remember the olive branch that is traditionally held in the right talon? Now it’s a wad of cash. And wait. Why does the eagle have two heads instead of one? Turns out this is exactly the way the eagle in Russia’s coat of arms looks, a not-so-subtle nod to the president’s deep ties to that country. In case that wasn’t blatant enough, instead of “E pluribus unum,” the eagle’s banner reads “45 es un títere,” Spanish for “Trump is a puppet.”

The Washington Post reported that apparently no one noticed when Trump got on stage in front of this altered version of the presidential seal on Tuesday at the Teen Student Action Summit of Turning Point USA, a conservative youth organization. The image of Trump before the fake seal has been widely circulated online, with #45IsAPuppet trending on Twitter.

A representative from Turning Point, which prepared the projected slideshow, told CNN that a member of its AV team had found the fake seal on Google Images and mistakenly took it for the official one, but there was “zero malicious intent.” Still, Turning Point told The Post, the person responsible was fired.

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate