The conspiracy theory that Melania has a lookalike stand in for her at public events has been circulated on social media for years, resurfacing whenever proponents spot a slight change in her appearance.
The latest round of speculation was fueled by a photo of Melania and her husband Donald Trump boarding Marine One on Thursday on their way to the final presidential debate.
Melania is seen wearing large sunglasses and a broad smile that some Twitter users believe did not match her usual subtle grin.
The theory doesn’t hold up when compared to other photos of Melania taken minutes earlier, which clearly show its her and not an impostor.
But Twitter users seized on the theory anyway as #FakeMelania began trending.
Rumors about Melania Trump using a body double have been reignited by an odd new photo that sent Twitter into a frenzy. The photo in question (above) shows Melania and her husband Donald Trump boarding Marine One on Thursday on their way to the final presidential debate
Melania is seen wearing large sunglasses and a broad smile that some Twitter users believe did not match her usual subtle grin
But the theory doesn’t hold up when compared to other photos of Melania taken minutes earlier, which clearly show its her and not an impostor
‘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,’ one man tweeted.
‘I never believed the #FakeMelania conspiracies, but you can tell this 100% isn’t her, because she’s looking fondly at a Christmas tree in the distance.’
‘I was planning on getting a good night’s sleep but now I’m freaked out by fake Melania OMG,’ a woman added.
Another woman posted the photo alongside a different one of Melania, writing: ‘Has anyone checked on the “real” Melania?’
‘If that’s Melania then I’m Helen Keller,’ another person joked.
Comedian Patton Oswalt also chimed in, writing: ‘That’s…SO not Melania. They didn’t even try.’
Several of the conspiracy theorists noted that Melania’s teeth looked rounder than they usually do.
Meanwhile there were a few people who joined the conversation to refute the theory, calling it ridiculous.
‘It’s Melania. Why bother with weird conspiracies when we’re already inundated with real corruption and scandals?’ a woman asked.
The unfounded body double theory began in October 2017 when Twitter users zeroed in on footage of Melania standing behind her husband as he spoke to reporters about hurricane relief for Puerto Rico.
During the briefing, Trump pointed out the presence of his wife even though she was standing in clear view of the cameras.
‘My wife, Melania, who happens to be right here,’ he said.
Conspirators based their body double speculation on that comment, saying that he mentioned her presence to cover for the fact that she was actually somewhere else.
They also claimed that Melania didn’t look like herself in the footage, specifically questioning the shape of her nose.
The theory re-emerged in August 2018 when the president and his wife visited Ohio, and Twitter users claimed that Melania’s hair was parted the wrong way and thus it wasn’t her.
The unfounded body double theory began in October 2017 when Twitter users zeroed in on footage of Melania standing behind her husband as he spoke to reporters
Melania fans were not convinced by her polka dot blouse on the outing last week
President Trump addressed the theory last year after it resurfaced again regarding a photo of him and Melania at a memorial for tornado victims in Alabama.
He claimed that the theory was driven by the media, accusing journalists of doctoring photos of his wife.
‘The Fake News photoshopped pictures of Melania, then propelled conspiracy theories that it’s actually not her by my side in Alabama and other places.. They are only getting more deranged with time!’
It’s unlikely that the president will react to the latest rumors as he’s juggling a very busy schedule in the final days before the election.
Melania has been notably absent on the campaign trail compared to other candidates’ wives, in part because she’s recovering from coronavirus.
The first lady tested positive for the virus late last month along with her husband, their 14-year-old son Barron and dozens of others in the president’s inner circle.
On Tuesday she canceled a campaign trip to Pennsylvania – her first since she fell ill – citing a ‘lingering cough’.
‘Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,’ her chief of staff Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
Melania was apparently feeling better by Thursday, when she joined the rest of the Trump family at the presidential debate.
Melania is seen wearing a mask at Thursday night’s final presidential debate in Nashville