Former Bush-backing Republican says he’s the man behind fake presidential seal that got staffer fired

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In today’s #FakeNews age, everything requires added scrutiny to ensure that it’s not a fugazzi — even a presidential seal.

A doctored presidential seal briefly displayed during President Trump’s speech this week at Turning Point USA’s Student Summit in Washington, D.C. has stirred up a lot of dust, and has even resulted in a member of the video team losing his job.

Not that the man behind the fake seal seems to care.

In fact, Charles Leazott is enjoying the sudden notoriety and claimed the staffer did it intentionally, the Washington Post reported.

Turning Points said the incident was a last-minute oversight by the now former staffer who did a quick online search for a high-resolution photo of the presidential seal to put on the screen behind Trump, according to the newspaper.

The mock seal was on the screen for just over a minute and went largely unnoticed. At least, until the Post reported on it.

What’s more, Leazott, a 46-year-old graphic designer, says he was once a Republican who voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.

In explicit detail, the paper explained the features of the fake seal:

He substituted the arrows in the eagle’s claw for a set of golf clubs — a nod to the new president’s favorite pastime. In the other set of talons, he swapped the olive branch for a wad of cash and replaced the United States’ Latin motto with a Spanish insult. Then, his coup de grace: a two-headed imperial bird lifted straight from the Russian coat of arms, an homage to the president’s checkered history with the adversarial country.

Instead of E pluribus unum — “out of many, one” — Leazott wrote “45 es un títere,” or “45 is a puppet,”  a callback to a viral exchange between Trump and Hillary Clinton in a 2016 debate.

Leazott reportedly crafted the fake presidential seal following the 2016 presidential election, after becoming disenchanted by Trump and the Republican Party.

“I’m a graphic designer, it’s just something I tossed together,” he said. “This was just a goofy thing for some people I knew. I had no idea it would blow up like this.”

“This is the most petty piece of art I have ever created,” Leazott added.

Now a rabid Trump hater, he runs an online site that sells products denigrating the president.

As for the person who got fired for what seems to be a lazy mistake, Leazott said the staffer is “either wildly incompetent or the best troll ever — either way, I love them.”

“I’ve got to be honest, I’m so tickled in the most petty way possible that the president of the United States, who I despise, stood up and gave a talk in front of this graphic,” he said. “Whoever put that up is my absolute hero.”

Attendees may have been too distracted by President Trump ripping Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., to notice what was on display behind him.

Pulling no punches, he slammed Tlaib, who called him a “motherf–ker” her first week in office, as a “crazed lunatic” for her behavior in a video making the rounds this week.

“ I watched her this morning, she’s vicious. She’s like a crazed lunatic,” Trump told the audience. “She’s screaming — this is before she got into Congress. Who elected her? She’s screaming like a total lunatic at one of our rallies.”

Tom Tillison


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