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US Harvard student says Trump’s lawyer threatened to get him expelled over 2015 Lampoon prank

09:56  10 april  2018
09:56  10 april  2018 Source:   bostonglobe.com

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A Harvard University senior says Donald Trump ' s personal lawyer threatened to have a group of students at the Ivy League school expelled over a joke they pulled on the billionaire businessman as he ran for president.

A Harvard University student claims that President Donald Trump ’ s lawyer , Michael Cohen, threatened to have him expelled after a prank that involving the then-Republican candidate. Tom Waddick is a staffer at the legendary campus satire magazine the Harvard Lampoon and told CBS’

The Harvard Lampoon building in Cambridge. © Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff/File 2008 The Harvard Lampoon building in Cambridge. A Harvard University student and member of the famous comedy magazine The Harvard Lampoon told “60 Minutes” that Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, personally threatened him after the Lampoon pulled a wild prank on Trump in 2015.

The Lampoon staffers pretended to be members of The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper and known rival of the Lampoon, when they e-mailed the Trump campaign in 2015 just after Trump announced his candidacy, saying they would like to meet and endorse him. The students had just stolen the Crimson’s beloved president’s chair, and took it to New York for a photo op with Trump, while still pretending to be the Crimson.

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Harvard senior Tom Waddick says that he received a threatening call from Trump ’ s lawyer Michael Cohen following a prank he helped pulled on Trump in 2015 , Boston Magazine reported. Waddick works at the Harvard Lampoon , the university’s comedy magazine, which is known to pull off pranks .

Take Alice Ju, philosophy student and former Lampoon president. Jon Wertheim: What percent of your time here at Harvard is devoted to the Lampoon versus regular school Pranks – cooking them up and then carrying them out - are as much a part of the Lampoon tradition as actual humor writing.

The Lampoon planned to publish the photo with a fake Crimson endorsement on a website with a similar URL as the Crimson, but not before staffer and current Harvard senior Tom Waddick got an angry call from Cohen. It was a few days after the photo was taken, and the campaign had discovered the prank, he said in the “60 Minutes” episode that aired Sunday night.

“He says, you know, ‘I’m gonna come up to Harvard. You’re all gonna get expelled. If this photo gets out you’ll be outta that school faster than you know it. I can be up there tomorrow,’” Waddick said.

Waddick described the call as “terrifying,” and said Cohen asked for his Harvard ID (and he complied), but the campaign never followed up.

“I sent it right away. I was so afraid that if I didn’t, he might actually be crazy enough to fly up here,” Waddick said.

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The alleged call and threat had not been widely reported before the “60 Minutes” story. In March 2016, Fortune magazine reported on Cohen’s call to the Lampoon, citing an anonymous student.

Cohen, a longtime associate and executive at the Trump Organization, has been called Trump’s fixer and “pitbull” because of his brash style and public defenses of Trump. Recently, Cohen was in the news after The Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.

When the Lampoon eventually published its fake endorsement of Trump to thecrimson.co in July 2015, it went viral for the clever ruse on both Trump and its on-campus rival.

Waddick also told “60 Minutes” what it was like taking the now-iconic Trump photo.

“While we were there they had sort of hairspray and combed it over and stuff. And he said, ‘People don’t think my hair is real, but you can all testify this is very real.’” Waddick said. “. . . So he said, ‘Everyone do the thumbs up,’ so we’re all doing his sort of signature thumbs up around him. And I was just like, ‘We got it.’”

The Crimson published a story about the Lampoon’s prank in August 2015, reporting that the prestigious student newspaper’s staff were unaware of the joke until Trump’s campaign reached out to talk about the piece — at which point the campaign was told the Crimson had not authorized any such editorial.

In the “60 Minutes” story, Lampoon president Liana Spiro also claimed responsibility for hacking into the Crimson’s website last year and publishing fake, satirical headlines about Mark Zuckerberg as he returned to Harvard as the school’s commencement speaker.

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At the time, it was not immediately revealed that the Lampoon was behind the cyberattack; the Crimson blamed it on an “unauthorized user.”

The hack apparently was not well-received by the Crimson staff.

“They were fairly upset,” Spiro said. “My roommate is actually on the Crimson. And this was the only time that she really was upset at me. She had worked, you know, weeks on a very long piece, like 10,000 words about some corner of Harvard’s administration. And then I had worked, you know, two hours on some headlines about Mink Zinkletonk.”

The “60 Minutes” report also detailed the highly selective process for joining the Lampoon, and spoke to students and successful alumni about its impact on the campus and their careers. The Lampoon’s notable alumni include William Randolph Hearst, John Updike, Conan O’Brien, and B.J. Novak.

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