Prank Group Distributes Fake Washington Post

The Yes Men printed 25,000 copies, co-author of edition says

New York-based activist and writer L.A. Kauffman distributed copies of a fake Washington Post newspaper outside the White House on Wednesday.

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—A liberal prank group circulated thousands of fake editions of the Washington Post on Wednesday—with a splash headline claiming President Trump left office—a decade after collaborating on a spoof issue of the New York Times declaring the end of the Iraq war.

The paper published by the Yes Men bears a striking resemblance to the actual layout of the Washington Post, and its stories also appeared on a website mimicking the Post’s site.

In a statement, the Washington Post said it was aware of the fake newspapers. “They are not Post products, and we are looking into this,” the company said in a tweet.

The fake paper, dated May 1, 2019, envisions a scenario in which Mr. Trump, under pressure from an escalating uprising of angry women, flees the White House leaving little but a note, scrawled on a paper napkin, blaming “Crooked Hillary” and the “fake news media.”

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The Yes Men, a liberal group known for staging elaborate pranks highlighting policies it opposes, crowdfunded the project, raising $36,000 in donations on GoFundMe. The group printed 25,000 copies and was distributing them across Washington, D.C., and New York City, according to L.A. Kauffman, a writer and activist in New York, who said she co-wrote the contents of the paper with writer Onnesha Roychoudhuri.

“This paper is a vision of a reality that many of us would like to see come true,” Ms. Kauffman said in an interview.

Ms. Kauffman, wearing a red scarf, stood outside the White House, handing out copies of her paper. Asked if she was concerned about any legal action from the real Post, she said she wasn’t. “No, we’re not worried about that,” she said, then leaned in to whisper. “I think the Post probably agrees with us.”

In 2008, the group also took partial credit for a fake edition of the New York Times, also dated in the future, claiming the Iraq war had come to an end. That paper bore the motto “All the News We Hope to Print,” a play on the Times’s “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” 

The Washington Post is owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, and both he and the Post have been the subject of attacks by President Trump over the paper’s coverage.

Write to Michelle Hackman at and Ben Kesling at

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