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Fake editions of The Washington Post handed out at multiple locations in D.C.

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.