The Onion Printed a Hilarious and Very Real Legal Threat It Received From Trump’s Lawyer in 2013
Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen doesn’t appear to know what jokes are, at least as evidenced by this crazy and very real legal threat he sent to The Onion in 2013. On Monday, the comedy site posted a response to an email the editorial staff received from Cohen about five years ago when he threatened it over a satirical guest column written in Trump’s voice titled “When You’re Feeling Low, Just Remember I’ll Be Dead In About 15 Or 20 Years.” Cohen, a lawyer, demanded that The Onion delete the article in the email the site posted. Here’s an excerpt from the fake op-ed that Cohen wanted scrubbed from the internet. From the piece in The Onion, which was posted at a time when the reality show host was relentlessly pushing racist birther theories:
My friends, everybody has their down days, and during these long winter months it is especially easy to succumb to the doldrums and find yourself in a bit of a funk. But not to fear! I have a simple tip that’s guaranteed to pick you up and get you back in good spirits in no time, and here it is: Whenever you’re feeling low, just remember that I, Donald Trump, will be dead in roughly 15 to 20 years.
That’s right. In the not-very-distant future I will die and then be gone from the world for all eternity. You may even get to watch me in a casket on national television being lowered into the ground, never to be seen again. I bet you’re smiling just thinking about that.
Cohen’s response read in part: “Let me begin by stating the obvious…that the commentary was not written by Mr. Trump. Secondly, the article is an absolutely disgusting piece that lacks any place in journalism; even in your Onion.”
In addition to demanding that the site remove the piece and issue a personal apology to Trump, Cohen threatened to “take all actions necessary to ensure your actions do not go without consequence. Guide yourself accordingly.”
The Onion shared what it claims is the Cohen email this morning.
— The Onion (@TheOnion) May 21, 2018
The Onion is also finally ready to address Cohen’s demands:
Our editorial board would like to formally announce that we have finally read Michael Cohen’s 2013 email regarding his client Donald Trump and would like to discuss the matter further at his convenience.
Unfortunately, Cohen is currently embroiled in a criminal investigation regarding money he paid to silence the now president’s former mistresses, so he’s likely not able to give this matter his full attention. Maybe, though, he at least now understands that The Onion is satire?