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Mock Seal's Maker: This Was No Accident

Ex-Republican shouts out 'best troll ever'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2019 10:26 AM CDT
President Trump arrives to speak, with an altered presidential seal behind him, at Turning Point USA's Teen Student Action Summit 2019, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – The man who created the mock presidential seal that turned up during a speech by President Trump has spoken—and, in his view, "there's no way this was an accident." Charles Leazott, a graphic designer from Richmond, Va., who twice voted for George W. Bush, says he became fed up with the Republican Party when it embraced Donald Trump. The 46-year-old therefore set to work on "the most petty piece of art I have ever created" in late 2016, per the Washington Post. But the anti-Trump seal—featuring the hammer and sickle; the Spanish phrase for "45 is a puppet"; and a two-headed bird from the Russian coat of arms, clutching a set of golf clubs and a wad of cash—was meant only for a small audience, Leazott says. He disputes Turning Point USA's claim that an aide mistook it for the official seal during a Google Image search ahead of Trump's Tuesday appearance at the Teen Student Action Summit.

"I don't think it was malicious intent" but "we did let the individual go," a Turning Point USA spokesman tells the Post. "That's a load of crap," counters Leazott. "You have to look for this." He adds the team member responsible for the altered seal is "either wildly incompetent or the best troll ever—either way, I love them." As a result, Leazott not only has a photo of Trump in front of the seal as his computer backdrop, but his online shop has sold out of shirts sporting the image of the altered seal, meant to portray the Trump administration as "a dumpster fire and an embarrassment," per Forbes. Leazott tells the outlet that he let the shop lapse in 2017 because "I didn't have the time to invest in it"—though he has just made it active again. Sweatshirts bearing the seal were selling for $27. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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