A picture of the US First Lady has sparked the resurgence of a conspiracy theory that Donald Trump uses a body double to stand in for his wife.
The hashtag #FakeMelania started trending on Twitter at the weekend after a picture emerged of Melania Trump boarding Marine One on the south lawn of the White House en route to the presidential debate in Nashville.
In the picture, the First Lady is wearing sunglasses but internet observers pointed out that her smile and teeth looked somewhat different from her usual appearance.
— Ben Meiselas (@meiselasb) October 25, 2020
The conspiracy theory isn’t new. For several years there has been speculation that Trump hires a body double for his wife when she doesn’t want to accompany him on campaign trips.
In the past, people have singled out pictures that suggested Melania Trump’s height was different as well as other elements of her appearance.
The President himself has branded the theory ‘fake news’ but it hasn’t stopped people speculating, and this week was no different.
The only thing I'll miss from this administration is them swapping in new Melanias and just pretending we won't notice like a 4-year-old with a guppy pic.twitter.com/8J0A4E9z5H
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) October 25, 2020
Commenting on the latest ‘FakeMelania’ speculation was film director Zack Bornstein, who wrote: “The only thing I’ll miss from this administration is them swapping in new Melanias and just pretending we won’t notice like a 4-year-old with a guppy.”
Others shared previous pictures where it had been suggested that a body double was used.
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— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel) October 25, 2020
— Daniel Noriega (@danoriegaa) October 25, 2020
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) October 25, 2020
For many, it was the opportunity to inject some humour to the situation, posting images of the president with a range of other figures including wrestler Hulk Hogan and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
— Ray Bradshaw (@comedyray) October 25, 2020
— Katy (@KatyJayne101) October 25, 2020
President Trump is not the first politician accused of using body doubles, with Hilary Clinton reported to have used a stand-in.
It has also been speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin uses a double, but he said he was offered the chance to use one for security purposes, but rejected the idea.
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