Donald Trump Accidentally Spoke in Front of a Hilariously Satirical Presidential Seal, and the Guy Who Designed It Is ‘Tickled’ Pink

Charles Leazott designed the faux seal, but he never intended for it to go viral.

US President Donald Trump stands next to a surreptitiously altered presidential seal as he arrives to address a Turning Point USA summit in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2019. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.

When President Trump stood on a stage at a Washington, DC, hotel earlier this week to speak at an event for the conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA, it was a graphic designer who got the last word.

It wasn’t until later that the Washington Post noticed that the presidential seal projected on a screen behind Trump wasn’t quite right. The official emblem depicts a bald eagle clutching a quiver of arrows in one clawed talon and an olive branch in the other. Above his glorious head, a waving scroll reads E pluribus unum. But this version showed a double-headed Russian eagle with a fistful of dollar bills in one claw and a set of golf clubs in the other. Above his head, the words “45 es un titere,” translating roughly to “45 is a puppet.”

Left, the doctored presidential seal by Charles Leazott, alongside the legitimate design.

Left, the doctored presidential seal by Charles Leazott, alongside the legitimate design.

The Post tracked down Charles Leazott, the 46-year-old graphic designer behind the design. “It’s just something I tossed together,” Leazott told the paper, “just a goofy thing for some people I knew. I had no idea it would blow up like this.”

Leazott says he didn’t intend for the doctored seal to actually be projected, but he’s pleased that it was. “I’ve got to be honest, I am so tickled in the most petty way possible that the president of the United States, who I despise, stood up and gave a talk in front of this graphic. Whoever put that up is my absolute hero.”

The faux seal was up for a little more than a minute. A spokesman for Turning Point USA said “it was a last minute throw-up, and that’s all it was.” The group has since fired the technician responsible for projecting it.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.