TPUSA Fires Assistant After White House Blames Group for Trump Speaking in Front of Russian Symbol

The right-wing youth organization Turning Point USA fired an A/V assistant after the White House blamed the group for President Donald Trump speaking in front of a Russian symbol at TPUSA’s high school conference on Tuesday.

During the president’s speech at a TPUSA summit in Washington, D.C., he was caught standing next to an edited version of the presidential seal which featured a two-headed eagle — a symbol long associated with Russia that is included on the Russian Federation’s coat of arms. The remixed symbol, which was created by a random anti-Trump Internet user who sells the edited presidential seal in poster form, featured the Russian eagle clutching dollar bills and golf clubs.

A banner adorned the eagle that read “45 is a puppet” in Spanish.

According to CNN, TPUSA fired the member of their tech team responsible for the pro-Kremlin image. Though, a source who spoke to the network insisted that the symbol was placed next to the president after an innocently botched Google Image search for the actual presidential seal.

“We’re sorry for the mix-up and meant no disrespect to the White House or the President or the advance team,” the TPUSA employee told CNN.

A source also noted the A/V aide “did the search and with the pressure of the event, didn’t notice that it is a doctored seal.”

The White House released a statement directly blaming TPUSA and referred media questions on the doctored seal to the organizers of the Teen Student Action Summit Trump spoke at.

In normal circumstances, the administration’s advance team vets all imagery used in tandem with a presidential speech, but it appears that TPUSA’s A/V team did all the work on Tuesday, as a White House official told CNN they “never saw the seal in question before it appeared in the video. For anything further, you would need to contact Turning Point — it was their event.”

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma