Trump uses presidential seal at New Jersey golf club amid ethics complaints

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Former president Donald Trump was spotted using the presidential seal on multiple items during the LIV Golf tournament at his Bedminster, NJ, golf course.

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The seal was plastered on towels, golf carts and other items as the former president participated at the pro-am of the Saudi-sponsored tournament Thursday.

It is against federal law to use the presidential and vice-presidential seals in ways that could convey “a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States.”

While violating this law could result in imprisonment of “not more than six months,” a fine, or both, these punishments are rarely doled out.

This is not the first time the display of the seal has been reported at Trump properties. The logo appeared on a marker at his golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla. in an Instagram post earlier this year, according to Forbes. WNYC and ProPublica reported in 2018 that the Trump Organization ordered golf course markers with the emblem on them.

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Last year, a Washington DC-based watchdog group accused his Bedminster golf club of profiting from using images of the presidential seal.

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“Unlawful use of the presidential seal for commercial purposes is no trivial matter, especially when it involves a former president who is actively challenging the legitimacy of the current president,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said when it filed the 2021 complaint.

As Trump teed off Thursday at the latest LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament, the event was closed to the public but open to media.

This week marks the third event of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series, which Trump has joined forces with in Bedminster in the face of criticism, and its second in the United States.

The former president was asked whether he had any regrets that the golf club was hosting a LIV Golf event rather than a tournament sanctioned by the US Golf Association or PGA Tour.

“No, no regrets. That’s their problem,” he said. “This course blows every other course away.”

Asked by a reporter whether he intended to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, he said: “You’re going to be so happy . . . We’ll let you know pretty soon.”

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