AP: “Bald Eagle Attacks Trump During Photoshoot” — Ben Franklin Not a Big Fan of the American Eagle

A bald eagle got up close and personal with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a recent photoshoot for TIME magazine.

While posing for a cover photo for Time magazine, Donald Trump had an American Eagle perched as Trump stood in an office setting. Later, Trump was sitting at a desk and moved his hand toward the American Eagle. The eagle pecked at Trump’s hand as it moved toward the symbol used in the Seal of the President of the United States.

The eagle’s name, for the record, is Uncle Sam, and he’s 27 years old, according to Time magazine.

Here is what Benjamin Franklin wrote to his daughter about the choice of the American Eagle as the symbol used in the Seal of the President.

“For my own part I wish the Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our country…I am on this account not displeased that the figure is not known as a Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the truth the Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.”

— Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin invented bifocals, the lightning rod, the Glass Armonica (a musical instrument that uses a series of glass bowls or goblets graduated in size to produce musical tones by means of friction), the library chair, swim fins, the long reach device, the Franklin Stove, the catheter, and Daylight Savings Time.

Last August, as Person of the Year runner-up Donald Trump was establishing himself as a real contender, the candidate agreed to pose with a bald eagle for a TIME cover story. The idea came from Martin Schoeller, the award-winning portrait photographer and frequent TIME contributor who shot the cover.

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