Did President Trump’s Lawyers Send Berkeley Breathed a Cease and Desist Letter?

A satirical letter shared on the cartoonist's Facebook page was widely believed to be legitimate on social media.

  • Published 26 May 2017
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President Trump's lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to a cartoonist for using doctored images of the Trump family.


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On 25 May 2017,  the Facebook page for the cartoon Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County posted a photograph of what appeared to be a cease & desist letter from President Trump’s lawyers demanding that the cartoonist stop using doctored images of Trump family members to promote his work:

The letter, dated 22 May 2017, purportedly threatened legal action against Mr. Breathed if he continued to use images of President Trump and his family members. The letter closed:

To use language you might understand (per my client’s wishes) we will “have your [redacted] in a sling by lunch.”

Web sites and social media users initially accepted the claim on its face:

BuzzFeed contacted the law firm that supposedly sent the letter, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, who told the news outlet that it was “a fraud.” Reporter Lachlan Markey also contacted the firm and determined the letter wasn’t real: