Harvard Lampoon tricks Trump with fake endorsement
© Harvard Lampoon

Republican presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds Pruitt spent K flying aides to Australia to prep for later-canceled visit: report Rosenstein told Trump he is not a target of Mueller probe: report MORE appears to be the latest victim in the longstanding rivalry between storied humor publication The Harvard Lampoon and its more staid alter ego, The Harvard Crimson.

A running gag between the two august institutions involves the theft of the Crimson president’s chair by members of the Lampoon — or Poonsters — and its use as a prop in a variety of increasingly mischievous schemes.

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The latest such misadventure involved spiriting the chair away to the Trump Tower in New York City, where it played a part in convincing the building’s namesake that he was being honored with a highly coveted Harvard Crimson endorsement.

Poonsters, posing as Crimson staffers, snapped photos with a smiling Trump seated on the president’s chair and later published a rave review of the real estate mogul, calling him "the most formidable and competitive candidate on the Republican side.”

The faux endorsement was posted on a faux Crimson website that appeared indistinguishable from the original.

When the Trump campaign reached out recently to the real Harvard Crimson to speak with the real Crimson president, Steven S. Lee, the prank finally unraveled.

“They recognized the situation once we had chatted, and it seemed like they were going to take care of it, whatever that means,” Lee told his paper’s Flyby blog.

“The students who perpetrated this are fraudsters and liars, but frankly it was a waste of only a few minutes,” Donald Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Hill. "Mr. Trump attended the great Wharton School of Finance,” Hicks added, "a school that has more important things to do."

 Updated: 6:11 p.m.