Incompetence or conspiracy within the White House … or both?

Blogger’s Note: This post has been edited to reflect a correction from the original post.

I heard about this event and my first thought was that it cannot be true, that it’s a phony story from a satirical source.

But oh, no. It’s real. Donald Trump delivered a speech this week with a doctored version of the presidential seal flashed on the wall behind him. Someone associated with the group to whom the president was speaking put a seal up that shows a set of golf clubs and a two-headed eagle.

What? Huh? Is this for real?

The phony eagle reportedly is meant to mimic a Russian symbol of totalitarian government; the golf clubs poke fun at the president’s penchant for golf. There’s also a wad of cash in the eagle’s talons, not the “E Pluribus Unum” slogan on the real presidential seal.

The individual responsible for this ridiculous matter has been fired.

Yet the White House apparently doesn’t believe it was done with “malicious intent.” Eh?

My own takeaway is that this incident reveals a profound lack of competence within the White House, even though the culprit was connected to the group that played host to the event. I get that it doesn’t rise to the level of some other idiotic instances we have witnessed during the Trump administration: the president’s tweeting frenzy, the revolving-door resignations that have plagued the president, the assorted statements from Cabinet officials questioning the president’s competence and intelligence.

This SNAFU, though, does illustrate that the president’s “fine-tuned machine” — specifically its advance team — needs an overhaul.