WASHINGTON — Fake editions of The Washington Post claiming that President Trump was leaving office were handed out Wednesday morning at multiple locations in Washington, D.C.
The print papers — dated May 1, 2019, and looking strikingly similar to actual copies of The Post — were filled with
anti-Trump stories, which also appeared on a website that mimicked the official Post site.
The Post’s PR department released a statement on Twitter: ‘‘There are fake print editions of The Washington Post being distributed around downtown DC, and we are aware of a website attempting to mimic The Post’s. They are not Post products, and we are looking into this.’’
A group that describes itself as a ‘‘trickster activist collective’’ called the Yes Men said it produced the bogus newspapers and website — which went offline Wednesday afternoon.
Under the headline ‘‘Unpresidented,’’ the fake newspaper’s lead story said that Trump had left a resignation message on a napkin in the Oval Office and left Washington for Yalta, the Crimean resort that was the site of a meeting of Allied leaders during World War II.
The false story also reported that his abrupt departure was prompted by ‘‘massive women-led protests’’ around the country, suggesting that the stunt was a promotion for a planned women’s march on Saturday.
Andy Bichlbaum, one of the cofounders of the Yes Men, said the paper was intended to offer the ‘‘grass-roots movement’’ ideas for how to support Trump’s impeachment. ‘
‘The idea was a newspaper from the future and how we got there — like a road map for activists,’’ he said.
The print and digital newspapers cost about $40,000, Bichlbaum said, adding that $36,000 was raised from the organization’s mailing list.
They printed 25,000
copies, and he estimated that 10,000 of the papers were distributed.