A purported signature of US President Donald Trump on a Bible that was recently sold on eBay for $325 has turned out to be a fake, according to three authenticators asked by NBC News. The sale drew public interest in wake of a recent online scandal over the US president's recent autograph signing in Alabama, where he signed the front cover of several Bibles.
The eBay listing, however, claimed that the Bible in question was signed back in 2016, when Trump hadn't yet become a president, although there were no reported cases of him signing Bibles that year.
Justin Steffman, the CEO and lead authenticator of AutographCOA.com, said that a quick examination and comparison of the signature seen in photos of the signed Bible was enough for him to determine that it was a fake.
"The signature on the Bible definitely does not appear to be an authentic signature from President Trump. The odds of it being real are zero percent in my opinion", he said.
Two other authenticators from the firm PSA/DNA came to the same conclusion, swiftly determining that it was faked. Terry Melia, spokesman for the company, noted that over 50% of items sold on eBay that are claimed to be signed by famous personalities have forged signatures.
The author of the listing refused to comment on the authenticators' conclusions, threatening to contact his lawyer and "get [NBC] for harassment" if the outlet would contact him again.
News of the US president signing the cover of several Holy Books during his visit to tornado ravaged Alabama raised a storm of negative reactions among social media users. The incident also left some US religious leaders divided, although the majority of those interviewed by the AP did not think that the act was sacrilegious.