The Washington Post warned people to beware of fake copies of its newspaper and website appearing Wednesday that say President Trump is abruptly leaving office.
"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," the Washington Post's PR team said in a tweet.
Earlier in the day, activists outside the White House were seen handing out fake copies of the Washington Post print edition.
The lead story, with the headline "UNPRESIDENTED," talks about how after Trump abruptly departs, White House aides said they found a napkin on the president's desk in the Oval Office on April 30 that said in red ink: “Blame Crooked Hillary & Hfior & the Fake News Media." The faux report said Trump's whereabouts are unknown, although "Tracking shows that same helicopter eventually landed in the Crimean resort city of Yalta."
Another front page story's headline read: "Celebrations break out worldwide as Trump era ends." A third said: "Pres. Pence begins 'clipped duck' term."
According to DCist, organizer L.A. Kauffman and "trickster activist collective" the Yes Men claimed responsibility for the effort. Meanwhile, a Facebook video from the liberal group Code Pink shows its founder, Medea Benjamin, handing out copies in Washington.
Among the stories inside the fake edition is one headlined, "The Civil War that never was," and another that praises the freshman class of House Democrats and their "bold" agenda. "Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are among the 38 freshmen Congressional Democrats driving a progressive legislative agenda they call the Bundle. If passed, it would rival the Great Society and New Deal in its sweep and scale," read the cutline for the article's photo.
Another headline took a shot at the media: "Major news outlets on Trump’s rise to power: ‘Our bad’"
Ironically, another story on page A6 had the headline: "Fictional Washington Post eerily predicted real events."
Several journalists commented on the realistic-looking Post fake, with some calling on the outlet to do something about the activists' activities.
".@washingtonpost you might want to deal with the lady handing out fake copies of the Post outside Union Station. I tried to explain why this is problematic but she wasn’t having it," said Ian Kullgren of Politico.
Bill Kuchman, also of Politico, noted, "Whoever designed this fake Trump front page has a remarkable strong grasp of Washington Post design. Fonts are a bit off, though."