Donald Trump’s recent appearance in front of the racially-problematic right-wing organization that gave us Candace Owens, Blexit and the MAGA Yeezy fashion line turned into the funniest speech he’s ever given after keen-eyed observers noticed that the president’s backdrop was a graphic depicting everything wrong with Putin’s Executive in Charge of U.S. Operations.
On Tuesday, President Trump spoke at a student activist conference hosted by the Turning Point USA, reports the Washington Post. If you’re not familiar with Turning Point, it is the conservative youth advocacy group that sometimes brings people like Milo Yiannopolous to college campuses in the name of “free speech.” The group was founded by mediocre white man Charlie Kirk, who once blamed “a far less-qualified candidate of a different gender and a different persuasion” when he was rejected for admission into West Point. TPUSA is known for “accidentally” hiring racists and has been linked to the alt-right and right-wing extremists by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
So, of course, the President wanted to be there.
As Trump walked onstage before the mostly-Caucasian crowd of 1,500, two presidential seals were projected behind him. One was the authentic presidential seal, but the other one was slightly altered to better represent the current White House resident. The more accurate artistic rendering served as the backdrop for Trump’s 80-minute speech.
USA Today writes:
Upon closer examination, the seal on Trump’s right includes a double-headed eagle, unlike the single head of the traditional presidential seal, and seems to resemble the Russian coat of arms. The seal has a complex history, notes the Victoria and Albert Museum, but one of the more common interpretations is that the two heads represent east and west, “an allegory sometimes for unity, and sometimes for absolute monarchy.” It could be a reference to Trump’s sometimes-controversial relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The eagle also appears to be holding several golf clubs instead of arrows in its claws, perhaps a reference to Trump’s affinity for golf.
Additionally, instead of “e pluribus unum,” the scroll above the eagle appears to say “45 es un titere,” which appears to translate from Spanish to mean “45 is a puppet.”
It is not clear where the image originated, though, or who was responsible for the mixup.
Turning Point initially said they don’t know where the image came from or who did it, explaining that the audiovisual team for the event was composed of TPUSA staffers and hotel employees. But by Thursday, the organization said it had fired the hero responsible, even though they “don’t think it was malicious intent,” reports The Post.
Welp, I guess that “freedom of speech” stuff only goes so far.