Live

Watch CBSN Live

Trump stands in front of fake U.S. presidential seal that resembles Russian coat of arms

Trump calls Mueller's testimony a "disaster"

President Trump stood in front of a fake U.S. presidential seal before giving a speech in front of  supporters in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. The sign resembled the official Russian coat of arms and contained other subtle shots at the commander in chief.

As Mr. Trump was being introduced at a teen summit hosted by conservative group Turning Point USA earlier this week, the altered presidential seal popped up next to him onstage. Instead of arrows and olives branches clutched in their talons, a closer look reveals two eagles holding a set of golf clubs on one side and a pile of cash on another. 

On Friday, Turning Point USA issued a statement apologizing to the president for the "mishap." A source familiar with the incident said it was not malicious and completely accidental. 

"We want to apologize to @realDonaldTrump for the mishap at our event. Regardless of what the #FakeNews says, it was 100% accidental & our fault, not the White House's. We've taken measures to ensure it won't happen again. We love our President & his courage to fight for America," the group tweeted. 

us-politics-trump-teenagers
President Donald Trump arrives to address the Turning Point USAs Teen Student Action Summit 2019 in Washington, D.C. Getty

The double-headed eagle is a main feature of Russia's national symbol — and its appearance on the design is a dig at Mr. Trump over his alleged ties to the country's systematic efforts to help elect him in the 2016 presidential campaign. The president is also an avid golfer and known for boasting about his wealth before and after becoming a resident in the Oval Office. 

The official presidential seal has the U.S. motto "e pluribus unum" (meaning "out of many, one" in Latin) in a banner held by a single eagle's mouth. However, the fake image had a message in Spanish that read, "45 is un titere." The text translates to "45 is a puppet." 

A White House spokesman said, "We never saw the seal in question before it appeared in the video." The White House referred any further questions to Turning Point, saying "it was their event."

The logo's designer, One Term Donnie, took credit for the work displayed behind Mr. Trump at the event. The page expressed gratitude over the use of the fake presidential seal: "Thank you to whoever the glorious bastard was that put it up behind him. You are either a world class troll or a colossal idiot."

A congressional statute prevents anyone from using the presidential seal and its likeness to convey a "false impression of sponsorship or approval" from the U.S. government. Offenders could face up to six months in prison or fined, or both.

Mr. Trump spoke for 80 minutes at the event that felt like a campaign-style rally and continued to attack foes.

View CBS News In