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No body double: Trump blasts #FakeMelania theories

AP  |  Washington 

US is not amused by the #FakeMelania conspiracy theories circulating on

He spun off a new theory on Wednesday to debunk the idea that there's a body double of his wife who steps in for her at times. The "fake news" did it, he claimed without evidence.

Trump alleged on Wednesday in a tweet that photos of his wife had been altered to make them appear as though a look-alike accompanied him to last week to survey tornado damage.

His favourite morning TV programme, "Fox & Friends," reported on the body-double theory Wednesday as the show's hosts weighed in on a discussion that aired Monday on ABC's ""

Hosts of the ABC programme debated whether an impostor had travelled with Trump.

"photoshopped pictures of Melania, then propelled conspiracy theories that it's actually not her by my side in and other places," the tweeted.

"They are only getting more deranged with time!"


Hosts of "The View" had commented on how the woman at Trump's side in photos of the trip appeared shorter than usual and had a different facial structure than the first lady's. One host allowed that the might have been wearing flat shoes.

In fact, the 5-foot-11 had ditched her customary stilettos for sneakers to walk around the rough terrain with the 6-foot-3 Trump.

The did not respond to a request for comment on who specifically Trump thought had doctored the photos. The showed his frustration with press coverage of his wife during an interview this week with a organization.

"If our first lady, if I were a Democrat instead of a Republican, she'd be times twenty. Instead, they go after her," Trump told in Monday's interview. Trump was referring to President John F. Kennedy's wife, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who often was referred to as "Jackie O" after she remarried following Kennedy's assassination.

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, of the

News images are not to be altered beyond basic toning and cropping, she said.

"Manipulation is against photojournalism ethics," Ramsess said, adding that most newsrooms follow the ethics guidelines on the association's website. "Photographers or editors can be fired over such manipulation."

The "FakeMelania" hashtag has been around since at least 2017, Trump's first year in office, with searches producing numerous photos of the and unfounded commentary that the woman in the images is not

Toward the end of the debate on "The View," contributor Ana Navarro-Cardenas, who opposes Trump, said: "Let's have fun with Melania. She's beautiful, and we're doing this in jest."

Abby Huntsman, a Republican on the panel, followed up by asking, "Does that make it better?" That prompted co-host Joy Behar, who also disapproves of Trump, to say: "We're not here to be better people. We're here to have a good laugh."

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman, said the episode "went beyond the petty mean-girl spirit that we've grown accustomed to." "People died, people lost family, people are hurting in Alabama," Grisham said Wednesday in an email.

"I personally watched the hug, listen to and comfort people who had lost everything - and the 'ladies' of instead chose to laugh and joke about a body-double conspiracy." An ABC declined to comment.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 02:55 IST
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