The altered presidential seal was seen at a summit hosted by the conservative organization Turning Point USA

By Helen Murphy
July 25, 2019 02:21 PM

While speaking at a summit hosted by the conservative organization Turning Point USA on Tuesday, President Donald Trump appeared in front of a satirical presidential seal that was altered without his knowledge to include references to Russian manipulation.

The altered seal, which was first reported by the Washington Post, featured an eagle with two heads — resembling the two-headed bird on the Russian coat of arms.

The scroll above the eagle appeared to read “45 es un titere,” or “45 is a puppet” in Spanish, according to USA Today. (The scroll normally contains the U.S. motto “E pluribus unum.”)

The left talons of the eagle, which clasp 13 arrows in the real presidential seal, instead held a set of golf clubs.

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The alterations were in apparent reference to the president’s frequent golf outings and the accusations about his relationship with Russia and Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

According to the Post, the seal appeared on a giant screen behind Trump after he was first introduced to the stage at the Turning Point event.

CNN reports that the individual responsible for the seal was a member of Turning Point USA’s audiovisual team who was searching last-minute for a high-quality image of the presidential seal ahead of Trump’s remarks.

They have since been fired, according to the network.

President Donald Trump
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty
President Donald Trump

“One of our video team members did a Google Image search for a high-res png [file] presidential seal,” a source familiar with the incident told CNN, adding that the individual “did the search and with the pressure of the event, didn’t notice that it is a doctored seal.”

“We’re sorry for the mix-up and meant no disrespect to the White House or the president or the advance team,” Turning Point USA told CNN, adding that there was “zero malicious intent.”

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The presidential seal
Marshall / Liaison Agency

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tells PEOPLE, “We never saw the seal in question before it appeared in the video.”

Grisham referred further questions to Turning Point USA.

“It was a last-minute A/V mistake — and I can’t figure out where the breakdown was — but it was a last minute throw-up, and that’s all it was,” a spokesperson for Turning Point USA previously told the Post.

The organization did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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