CLAIM

Chris Christie was so angry at Donald Trump for picking Mike Pence over him as a running mate that he refused to retrieve Trump's dry cleaning.

FALSE

RATING

FALSE

ORIGIN

On 15 July 2016, after Donald Trump announced Indiana governor Mike Pence as his choice of running mate in the upcoming presidential election, the New Yorker published an piece suggesting that incensed New Jersey governor Chris Christie had expressed his anger at being passed over for the VP slot by refusing to retrieve Trump’s dry cleaning:

Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, angrily refused to pick up Donald Trump’s dry cleaning during a tense encounter between the two men on Friday, campaign sources confirm.

The ugly scene unfolded at the billionaire’s offices in midtown Manhattan, shortly after Trump revealed that his Vice-Presidential pick would be Governor Mike Pence of Indiana.

According to Trump aides, Christie stomped into the presumptive Republican nominee’s office and hurled a dry-cleaning ticket onto his desk, telling Trump, “You can pick up your own damn dry cleaning.”

The New Jersey governor then stormed out, and has not been seen by Trump or his staffers since.

Trump’s press secretary, Hope Hicks, warned the media against making too much of the apparent rift between the billionaire and Christie. “In the long hours of a campaign, emotions can sometimes get a little raw,” she said. “We are confident that Governor Christie will pick up Mr. Trump’s dry cleaning going forward.”

The piece played on media perceptions that Christie was a likely pick for Trump’s vice-presidential spot (as well as rampant speculation that Christie had essentially campaigned for the spot via his subservience to a former GOP rival) and painted Christie as a figure reduced to objecting through engaging in passive-aggressive refusal of assistant-level tasks. But the article was a piece of humorous fiction written by New Yorker satirist Andy Borowitz, not one of the outlet’s straightforward news pieces.

Material from the humorists’s well-known Borowitz Report is rarely mistaken for real news on social media, although some previous instances in which that happened involved claims George W. Bush cited John Denver as a role model, and Fox News said they would “shut down for routine maintenance” on 21 January 2013 (the date President Barack Obama was inaugurated for his second term).

While most “satirical” outlets aim to dupe social media users into sharing fake and often offensive stories, Borowitz is one of the few genuine satirists regularly making light of current events. His New Yorker bio reads:

Andy Borowitz is a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. In 2001, he created the Borowitz Report, a satirical news column that has millions of readers around the world, for which he won the first-ever National Press Club award for humor. The Borowitz Report was acquired by The New Yorker in 2012.