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“The Onion” expertly Twitter-trolled Michael Cohen for a full day

Trump’s lawyer once sent a cease and desist letter to “The Onion,” which the premier satirical news site decided to use in a protracted comedy assault.

“The Onion” expertly Twitter-trolled Michael Cohen for a full day

Whenever the president dismisses negative, accurate media coverage as “fake news,” he comes across as a troll. Naturally, the only reasonable response for the premier purveyor of actual fake news, The Onion, is to troll right back. Hard.

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Way back in 2013, when the idea of putting undocumented immigrant children in internment camps was but a glimmer in Donald Trump’s eye, The Onion published a dark piece about the then-game show host. The morbid faux-editorial, “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead In About 15 Or 20 Years,” released during the height of Trump’s birtherism, caught the ire of its purported author, whose attorney allegedly demanded The Onion remove it. On Monday afternoon, the satirical news website used this demand as a jumping-off point for a day-long trolling of Trump and his now infamous lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The festivities kicked off with an official announcement that The Onion was finally ready to discuss Cohen’s 2013 email threatening legal action against the publication–along with screengrabs of the email itself.

While Cohen himself denied the authenticity of the email, it’s hard to trust an attorney routinely referred to as a “fixer” for the highest-profile clients imaginable. Furthermore, a spokesman for The Onion confirms that the email is real, conceding that everything else in this initiative comes with a wink.

The real trolling began about four hours later. That’s when The Onion began tweeting directly to Michael Cohen, offering to delete the offending article from 2013 “in exchange for influence over the president’s decision-making.” It was a brazen move, satirizing both Cohen’s general aura of sleaze and the way so many, including Cohen, appear to be peddling access to the president.

For a while, this one tweet seemed as far as the effort would go. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, The Onion started in on Cohen again–and this time, they went all in.

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The tweet linked to an article written by The Onion‘s editorial board that laid the whole game bare:

The Onion, in recent days, has attempted to contend with a serious legal threat issued in 2013 by the president’s personal attorney. In exchange for removing an offending piece written by Mr. Trump, titled “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead In About 15 Or 20 Years,” our publication hoped for a speedy resolution to what could otherwise be a prolonged and costly legal battle. Shortly thereafter, however, our editorial board was shaken to its core by Mr. Cohen’s response issued on social media—a shrewd legal riposte, almost Machiavellian in its audacity. We now understand that Mr. Cohen is playing hardball, and our editorial board has correspondingly voted to up the ante, so to speak.

As such, we now formally offer to remove the complete archive of The Onion‘s reporting on Donald Trump, spanning hundreds of articles that stretch back to the late ’90s, so long as Mr. Cohen can pledge to provide us with a direct line to the president.

Following this shot across Cohen’s bow, The Onion spent the next hour or so tweeting some of its greatest Trumpian hits; all addressed to Cohen, all pledging a promise of deletion if demands are met. The tweet-spree lasted over an hour and spanned 24 separate messages to Cohen, before ending abruptly with a final tweet that reads, “.@MichaelCohen212 Should we wait a couple days for the check to clear?” It’s far more of an elaborate provocation than The Onion typically engages in, but these are not typical times.

Have a look at some of our favorite of The Onion‘s Michael Cohen tweets. We’ll update this post if they resume.

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