When President Donald Trump took the stage Tuesday at the Teen Action Summit in Washington, D.C., an image of what appeared to be the presidential seal was projected on the screen behind him. But, upon closer inspection, many noted that the bald eagle on the seal was doctored and bore a striking resemblance to the one on Russia's coat of arms.
The official presidential seal of the president of the United States features a bald eagle clutching an olive branch in its right talon, a symbol of peace, and holding 13 arrows in its right talon, representing the 13 original colonies. In its beak, the eagle holds a ribbon with the Latin words "E Pluribus Unum," which means "out of many, one."
But the crest that appeared behind Trump at the event hosted by the conservative youth group Turning Point USA featured a two-headed eagle, similar to the one on the official coat of arms of the Russian Federation. The eagle is clutching money with one talon and golf clubs with the other. The ribbon above the heads reads "45 Es Un Titere," Spanish for "45 Is a Puppet."
It was not immediately clear for how long the altered seal appeared on the screen during Trump's nearly 80-minute address to the crowd of mostly high school students at the Marriott Marquis.
The source of the photoshopped seal, first noted by The Washington Post, was also not known. The image, however, appears on several anti-Trump websites, including an e-commerce site selling merchandise with an identical seal.
Trump's critics have accused him of being a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin over his embrace of a long-time U.S. enemy while undermining the assessment of American intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.
And while Trump argued during the campaign that as president he would rarely leave Washington, since taking office on Jan. 20, 2017, Trump has gone golfing 227 times as of April 19, 2019, according to NBC News.
Turning Point USA did not respond to NBC's request for comment, but a spokesman for the group told the Post late Wednesday that he didn't know where the image came from, but that it was "an A/V mistake" and not intentional. The spokesman told the Post that a video team member was fired for mistakenly displaying the seal.
White House spokesman Judd Deere told The Associated Press that officials "never saw the seal" before it was projected on the screen and referred additional questions to Turning Point USA.
Turning Point USA describes itself as a youth organization dedicated to educating and training and students "to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government."