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VERIFY: Yes, a fake "Presidential Seal" was put up behind Trump at a recent speech

As internet users were quick to point out, the seal behind President Donald Trump in a recent speech didn't seem quite right. The VERIFY team learned it wasn't.

Social media has blown up this week with a photoshopped version of the presidential seal. It features a two-headed eagle similar to the Russian imperial eagle, golf clubs in place of arrows, a wad of cash in place of the olive branch, and Spanish that translates to "45 is a puppet" in place of the U.S.'s Latin motto.

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump arrives to speak, with an altered presidential seal behind him, at Turning Point USA's Teen Student Action Summit 2019, Tuesday, July 23, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Was a photoshopped version of the presidential seal resembling the Russian coat of arms and other changes mocking Trump at an event he spoke at?


Yes, although the photoshopped version wasn't on the screen long. The official presidential seal was behind Trump for the duration of the speech.


President Trump spoke at an event hosted by Turning Point USA, a conservative group targeting young people.

A video played behind the president when he first walked on stage. That video can be seen during the first 40 seconds of this recording of the speech. The photoshopped seal can be seen on the left.

The Washington Post was one of many outlets to identify it. Soon the story and the image was spread across social media.

According to CNN, the usage of the photoshopped seal was a mistake. A source told CNN that the person responsible for the mistake was rushing to find an image of the seal at the last minute and mistakenly picked the photoshopped version. Both CNN and The Washington Post reported that the person was let go from Turning Point USA.

So where did the photoshopped version come from then? It was created by graphic artist Charles Leazott in 2016. He sells merch with the fake seal on an online store.

For what it's worth, he did not necessarily give his speech in front of the photoshopped seal. It did not remain on screen as he continued his speech. Instead, he spoke in front of the Turning Point USA logo.

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