Is President Trump’s top strategist Steve Bannon actually a down-and-out who once lived out of a cardboard box in an alley way behind a New York delicatessen? These are the amazing claims being made in the New York Sanitation Workers Weekly Journal. “Heck, he was just some hobo in piss stained trousers who shouted drunken racist abuse on street corners,” says Ted Trouncer, the paper’s political editor, who claims to have an impeccable source for his story. “His inebriated rantings were heard by some media guys who thought that they were genius – they were inspired to create the Brietbart News website to disseminate similar views and installed Bannon as a figurehead. From there, it was just a short step to the White House as Trump’s so called ‘strategist’ – no wonder his administration has been such a shambles so far, if he’s being advised by an alcoholic tramp.” According to Trouncer, despite the move to Washington DC, following Trump’s election, Bannon hasn’t given up his cardboard box. “He’s set it up by the dumpster around the back of the White House,” says the journalist, who has also questioned the degree of influence Bannon actually has over the new administration. “The way I hear it, his only contribution to meetings of the National Security Council is to break wind loudly and violently. Which is good for clearing the meeting when it isn’t going Trump’s way, but is hardly constructive.”

Naturally, the newspaper’s claims have been dismissed by the Trump administration as being ‘fake news’. Trouncer, nevertheless, maintains that his story is entirely fact-based. Even if those are so called ‘alternative facts’. Indeed, The Sleaze has discovered that the source of the New York newspaper’s claims is actually an office in a small New Jersey town. “Look, this ‘alternative facts’ stuff that Trump’s people came up with to justify the out right lies they were spouting is quite brilliant,” declares Simon Drex, managing director of the Alternative Facts Corporation, the start up company which occupies the office. “ I mean, you can say whatever you like about anyone or anything now and when challenged as o the veracity of your statements, you can just say, well, they are alternative facts. “ Drex established his company with the aim of furnishing news outlets, organisations and even individuals with ‘alternative facts’ for news stories, reports or simply to win arguments. “I got the idea after Trump’s aide Kelly Ann Conway first used the term on TV,” he explains. “After all, there are so many authoritative sources for actual facts, sources that people still don’t believe, so why not have something similar for ‘alternative facts’? The beauty is that it doesn’t matter whether anyone believes such a source or not, as they are lies anyway.”

Despite only having been in business for a few weeks, Drex’s company has been doing brisk business. “There’s no shortage of people wanting to get the goods on Trump,” he reveals. “Even though there is plenty of real dirt about him out there, freely available, the administration just trashes it as ‘fake news’, so people instead come to us for some ‘alternative facts’ about Trump – the public finds them more believable.” The secret to creating believable ‘alternative facts’, Drex confides, is to ground them in reality and then play to people’s prejudices. “Take this Steve Bannon story,” he says, by way of explanation. “It’s all predicated upon the fact that the guy actually looks like a down and out: slovenly dressed, unshaven and possessed of a confused world view. Once you point that out to people, it’s a short step to having them believe that he drinks meths and shits in his pants – it’s most people’s stereotypical view of a tramp.” Drex also opines that the subjects of his ‘alternative facts’ are themselves at least in part to blame for the fact that people are prepared to believe such falsehoods. “Let’s be honest here, if they weren’t actually a bit sleazy, then nobody would even suspect these things to be true, would they?” he muses. “I mean, there’s no smoke without fire, is there?”

Drex’s ‘alternative facts’ are themselves sourced online. “We have a whole network of people out on the net, who come up with this stuff for us – we just give them a subject and they do the rest,” he reveals. “They’d just be putting this stuff out, for free, on social media – where it would just be libel, of course. But we give it some respectability by marketing their stuff as ‘alternative facts’ – and, as a bonus, they get paid for it!” Drex’s next commissioned ‘alternative facts’ will target the president directly, he promises. “We’ve got a real humdinger about ‘The Donald’ coming up for a newspaper in Wisconsin,” he enthuses. “The gist of it is that he is allowed to secretly visit jails, where officials allow him to fatally strangle inmates with his bare hands. The victims are always hobos with no families or friends, who have been jailed for vagrancy. Their bodies are disposed of in the prisons’ heating furnaces. Again, it’s designed to play on people’s preconceptions about Trump, in this case that he’s a psychopath.” He adds that another, similar, ‘alternative fact’ – that Trump once had a former contestant on The Apprentice who insulted him drowned in a vat of Russian prostitutes’ urine, the body dumped in a cheap hotel room in Ohio, where it was assumed that the victim had died in a bizarre sexual mishap – was rejected as being less believable.

Drex accepts accusations of political bias in his ‘alternative facts’, freely admitting that he is deliberately targeting conservatives in general and the Trump administration in particular. “It’s about time us liberals started sticking it back to these bastards,” he says. “The right have been spreading this stuff about for decades, smearing anyone on the left with half-truths and misinformation. Now that they’ve effectively admitted that they’re liars, with this ‘alternative facts’ nonsense, I feel it is only fair that we turn the tables and start smearing them! For too long we’ve allowed them to just ignore real facts which are inconvenient to them, so why not confront them with some ‘alternative facts’, instead?” Under cover of providing ‘alternative facts’ , Drex is determined to wage war against the right globally, not just in the US. “We’re already preparing some stuff about your Nigel Farage,” he promises. “It will all be about that French fascist woman he’s shacked up with in London and how he likes to dress up as a Nazi and ‘occupy’ her. OK, so non of that might actually be true, but they are definitely ‘alternative facts’!”