World Media

Trump Tweets About the #FakeMelania Hashtag Conspiracy Theory

The Associated Press

The theories have circulated since the early days of his presidency, and have been fueled by videos suggesting Melania Trump does not enjoy traveling alongside her husband, and gained new traction last week after the couple traveled to Alabama to inspect tornado damage.

The body double conspiracy theory has been around since at least 2017, but resurfaced Monday when participants on ABC television's morning show "The View" examined a surge of internet chatter about the former fashion model's Alabama appearance.

First lady Melania Trump walks with her son, Barron Trump, as they depart with U.S. President Donald Trump from the South Lawn of the White House, on March 8.

One host surmised Melania might have been wearing flats. "I watched the President and First Lady hug, listen to and comfort people who had lost everything". "You mean there are two women who have to pretend they're listening to (President Trump)?".

Several factors can influence the way people appear in photos, including the angle at which the photos are taken, the type of camera lens that is used and the positioning of the photographer, said Akili Ramsess, executive director of the National Press Photographers Association.

"When there's a rumor like this, and memes all over the place, I think it catches on because there's an element of truth to the idea that she doesn't want to spend time with him", Behar added.

Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt said it was "so hypocritical". "Melania is a very tall, statuesque woman, and the one that we saw - the first one that we showed - she looks kind of short".

The conspiracy theory even featured in a segment on the popular chat show "The View". "People died, people lost family, people are hurting in Alabama", Grisham said Wednesday in an email.