No, Berkeley Breathed was not hassled by Trump’s lawyers

Screen shot of the ‘letter’ posted by Berkeley Breathed in response to the faux cease-and-desist attributed to Trump’s lawyer.

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, novelist, illustrator, screenwriter and producer and former Iowa City resident Berkeley Breathed pranked his fans yesterday by posting a threatening letter on his Facebook page ostensibly written by President Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz.

The faux letter accused Breathed, creator of the cartoon strip Bloom County, of “non-permitted use of President Donald Trump and/or members of the Trump family for the purposes of commercial promotion,” for photoshopping his t-shirt designs onto images of the Trumps. The letter concluded by saying Trump had instructed Kasowitz to write that if Breathed didn’t desist, they would “have his [redacted] in a sling by lunch.”

A second post contained a response letter saying he had complied with the request to remove the images, saying “I will not be using either him or anyone in his family for promotional purposes again. Ever.” Breathed’s letter ended with a zinger, “I wonder if I might send Melania a plush Opus. This way, she’ll be able to cuddle with TWO stuffed pudgies.”

The posting was followed by a slew of fact checkers stepping into the fray to let folks know that the correspondence was a ruse.

Prior to the 2016 presidential election, Breathed told the Washington Post he would leave Trump out of his comic strip and encouraged others to do the same, even if Trump won.

“Trump is crushingly unfunny because the swamp from which he rose is not funny,” Breathed told the Post in the interview published Sept. 23, 2016. “Everyone should stop looking at the wreck and keep driving.”

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