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

“Zero malicious intent.”

Andrew Harnik/AP

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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.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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