Why is there 'fake Melania Trump' conspiracy theory? Donald Trump calls idea 'deranged'

March 16, 2019
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Melania Trump, 48, has not addressed the most recent conspiracy theory, but her husband Donald Trump, 72, has been quick to strongly condemn it. Taking to Twitter earlier this week, Trump wrote: “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!” Donald was not the only one to angrily slam the claims this week, with Melania’s press rep Stephanie Grisham reacting to a segment on US TV show The View which discussed the wild theories.

She wrote on Twitter: “@flotus & @potus traveled to Alabama to pay their respects & comfort victims of the tornado devastation. In typical fashion, @theview chooses to laugh in the face of tragedy. Shameful.”

So what exactly is the conspiracy theory, and how did it start?

Some believe that during occasional public appearances a body double has filled in for Melania Trump.

However, Donald Trump has got one part of the theory incorrect – it is not based on photoshopped images but rather on comparisons of older images of Melania with more recent ones.

The theory first spread on social media in late 2017, when one Twitter user posted side by side images of Melania along with video clips in an attempt to ‘prove’ the woman with Donald Trump was not, in fact, his wife but someone posing as her.

Fuel was added to the fire by Melania Trump disappearing from public life for close to three weeks in 2018, with the White House taking a while to explain that it was a kidney operation that had kept the First Lady behind closed doors.

Body double theories have not only been denied by Trump, they have also been quashed by experts.

Body language expert Judi James analysed images of Melania with her husband Donald Trump that caused the conspiracy to first emerge in October 2017.

She told Express.co.uk: “Firstly Melania doesn’t do facial expressions. Her signature poker face look would actually be hard to reproduce.

“You could get a stand-in to look similar but mimicking the impassive expression long-term would be hard, especially when you’re standing alongside Trump.”

Melania Trump: Five facts about the USA’s First Lady

Languages

Mum-of-one Melania can speak more languages than any other First Lady before her: English, French, German, Italian, Serbian and of course her mother tongue, Slovenian.

This also makes her the only First Lady whose first language is not English.

Religion

After Jacqueline Kennedy, Melania is the second First Lady who is a practising Catholic.

She met Pope Francis as part of a foreign tour with her husband and stepdaughter Ivanka last year.

Career

Melania was a successful model, posing for Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and GQ.

Her skills aren’t confined to print, and she appeared in a commercial for Aflac, an American insurance company, in 2005.

Family

Melania’s parents are Amalija Knavs and Viktor Knavs, and the couple live together in Washington.

She has one sister, Ines, who is reported to live in New York and work as an artist.

Charity

On May 7 2018, Melania launched her flagship campaign as First Lady, BE BEST, which The White House describes as “an awareness campaign focused entirely around the well-being of children”.

There are three main strands to the initiative: well-being, social media, and opioid abuse.



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