Fact Check: Did Donald Trump Use the Presidential Seal on a SAG-AFTRA Resignation Letter?

After Donald Trump heard that The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists' (SAG-AFTRA) disciplinary committee held a hearing to discuss revoking his membership, he issued a letter of resignation.

The letter said, in part, "This letter is to inform you of my immediate resignation from SAG-AFTRA. You have done nothing for me." Trump signed the letter "President Donald J. Trump."

SAG-AFTRA published the letter online Thursday and it has received wide reaction on Twitter with attention drawn to the seal Trump used.

The full letter Trump wrote to SAG-AFTRA https://t.co/yTs0paNfe5 pic.twitter.com/CDaeM3pWAT

— Brett _______ (@BrettRedacted) February 4, 2021

The Claim

One Twitter user wrote Thursday: "Trump is calling himself 'president' and using the presidential seal as an ex-president," in a tweet that has gained more than 2,000 likes and almost 1,000 retweets.

Trump is calling himself 'president' and using the presidential seal as an ex-president

— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) February 4, 2021

The Facts

At the top of Trump's letter to SAG-AFTRA, there is a seal displayed, surrounded by the words "The Office of Donald J. Trump."

Santiago Mayer, executive director of the nonprofit Voters of Tomorrow, tweeted Thursday evening: "I don't know who needs to hear this, but using the Presidential Seal when you're not the President is illegal," and received more than 40,000 likes and more than 6,000 retweets.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but using the Presidential Seal when you’re not the President is illegal.

— Santiago Mayer (@santiagomayer_) February 4, 2021

He tweeted this while "Presidential Seal" was trending Thursday because of Trump's letter.

The seal Trump used is not the official presidential seal. However, it does look quite similar.

One Twitter user replied to Mayer's tweet by posting photos for comparison of the presidential seal, the Great Seal of the U.S., and Trump's seal.

"It's not quite the Presidential seal," the user wrote.

It's not quite the Presidential seal... pic.twitter.com/FVDo6FrzN1

— Elyse (@wraithfodder) February 4, 2021

The presidential seal and Trump's seal contain the Latin "E pluribus unum" and an eagle in the center with its talons holding an olive branch and 13 arrows.

Despite the similarities, there are differences. One difference is that the presidential seal contains stars surrounding it, while Trump's seal has only three stars placed at the bottom.

The Ruling


Donald Trump did not use the presidential seal in his resignation letter to SAG-AFTRA.

He used his own seal for "The Office of Donald J. Trump" after recently establishing the Office of the Former President in Florida.

Trump's seal looks similar to the presidential seal but contains differences.

Trump resigns SAG-AFTRA
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office on March 11, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images
False: The claim is demonstrably false. Primary source evidence proves the claim to be false.
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