If there’s one thing Donald Trump never forgets to remind people of, it’s the fact that for four dysfunctional years—and despite two impeachments—he was president of the United States. OK, we get it. And yes, it’s a job that comes with lifetime perks, but using the presidential seal like it’s your personal logo isn’t one of them. Yet the seal has been seen brazenly plastered all over the place—from towels to Trump’s personal golf cart—at his golf clubs.
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the presidential seal was getting as much love from Trump as a can of Diet Coke or a McDonald’s burger might at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, which is currently hosting the controversial, Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament. This, of course, is a violation of federal law, which The Hill notes “prohibits knowingly using the printed or other likeness of the presidential seal ‘for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States.’” By violating this law, Trump could be fined, or even imprisoned for up to six months—but he’s clearly not sweating it. Just as he didn’t bat an eye at taking money from Saudi Arabia to host the event, despite the country’s abominable record of human rights violations, including the murder of Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi. (People just don’t grow ethics overnight, after all.)
According to The Washington Post, “The seal was plastered on towels, golf carts, and other items as the former president participated in the pro-am of the Saudi-sponsored tournament Thursday.” It’s not the first time Trump has leveraged his disastrous presidency for financial gain, particularly as it relates to his failing golf courses. Just over a year ago, the Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington—a nonpartisan watchdog group—filed a complaint against Trump [PDF] for “improperly displaying a likeness of the presidential seal in violation of federal law.”
Last month, Forbes writer Zach Everson took to Twitter to share a thread about “Trump’s troubled history with using the presidential seal at his golf courses.”
Still, even though Trump is flagrantly flouting federal law, The Washington Post noted that charges are rarely made in these cases. And with Trump already looking down the barrel of a DOJ investigation regarding his involvement in January 6, a golf towel isn’t likely at the forefront of his mind.
As for defending himself for welcoming the Saudi event to his business, Trump seems to have forgotten that he blamed Saudi Arabia for 9/11—or he just doesn’t care.
(Via The Washington Post)