Donald Trump may no longer be president, but he still likes to show the world the presidential seal — an act that some are saying is a violation of federal law.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the former president “was spotted using the presidential seal on multiple items during the LIV Golf tournament at his Bedminster, N.J., golf course.” The story went on to note that the seal “was plastered on towels, golf carts and other items” when Trump played in the pro-am of the Saudi-sponsored tournament Thursday.
As the Post noted, “It is against federal law to use the presidential and vice-presidential seals in ways that could convey” the U.S. government’s sponsorship or approval.
This isn’t the first time Trump’s use of the seal has come into question. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, took Trump to task over the issue in 2018.
Trump’s office didn’t immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment.
The U.S. presidential seal.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
The presidential seal, which has a similar design to the Great Seal of the United States, has a history going back to the days of President Millard Fillmore, according to Smithsonian Magazine. The current design was put in place by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960.
Trump is also facing current criticism for having his New Jersey club host an event backed by the Saudi Arabian–affiliated LIV Golf organization, a deep-pocketed new rival to the PGA Tour. The Riyadh regime has long faced allegations of human-rights violations.
Trump has brushed off the concerns. “I think LIV has been a great thing for Saudi Arabia, for the image of Saudi Arabia,” he told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.
“I can say that from the standpoint of Khashoggi, that has died down so much,” the former president reportedly said, referring to murdered Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, whose 2018 death and dismemberment U.S. intelligence has blamed on the Saudi regime, and saying he’s rarely asked about it of late. “It really seems to have totally died down.”
Also under withering criticism from families of 9/11 victims, citing Saudi connections to the 2001 terror attack, the former president offered the apparent rebuttal that “nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately — they should have.”
The tournament runs through Sunday.