The man who created a satirical presidential seal that featured prominently at a Turning Point USA event is a 46-year-old graphic designer and former Republican voter.
Charles Leazott, of Richmond, Virginia, created the seal following the 2016 election but never expected his design to receive widespread attention, The Washington Post reported.
On Tuesday, however, the seal became national news when it appeared on a screen behind President Donald Trump at TPUSA’s Teen Student Action Summit.
The altered design included a handful of visual jabs at the president, with a double-headed eagle (reminiscent of the one on the Russian Federation coat of arms) clutching a set of golf clubs in its talons.
The eagle and clubs alluded to the president’s pastime of golfing at his Mar-a-Lago resort and the debunked claim that his campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.
Also featured on the seal was the Spanish phrase “45 es un títere,” or “45 is a puppet,” in place of the original Latin “E pluribus unum.”
“I’m a graphic designer, it’s just something I tossed together,” Leazott told The Post. “This was just a goofy thing for some people I knew. I had no idea it would blow up like this.”
For Leazott, who reportedly voted for former President George W. Bush twice, Trump’s election was a radical turn from the GOP he knew, The Post noted.
The seal was Leazott’s way of protesting, a combination of humor and art that originally appeared on his online store, “OneTermDonnie.”
Now, it has become a proud achievement for him. “This is the most petty piece of art I have ever created,” Leazott told The Post.
How the seal appeared on the TPUSA screen remains a mystery.
A TPUSA spokesman claimed the mishap was the result of hasty planning, The Post reported. According to that spokesman, a Turning Point staffer had found the seal after a last-minute search for a high-resolution image to display behind the president.
“We did let the individual go,” the spokesman said, according to The Post. “I don’t think it was malicious intent but nevertheless.”
To Leazott, that explanation doesn’t add up. “That’s a load of crap,” he said. “You have to look for this. There’s no way this was an accident is all I’m saying.”
Whether accidental oversight or purposeful high jinks, the episode has left Leazott a happy man.
“I’ve got to be honest, I am 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 told The Post. “Whoever put that up is my absolute hero.”
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