The Internet is abuzz with claims that First Lady Melania Trump is using a body double.
The rumors started online after Melania Trump appeared next to her husband, President Donald Trump, while he addressed reporters on the White House lawn on Friday. The First Lady is standing by his side wearing a trench coat and dark sunglasses.
What appears to be fueling the conspiracy theory is this comment by President Trump: “My wife, Melania, who happens to be right here.”
There is no evidence to suggest that the woman in the video isn’t Melania Trump, but that hasn’t stopped people from commenting online. On Wednesday, Melania was trending on Twitter.
Business Insider reported that one of Melania Trump’s Secret Service agents looks a lot like the First Lady, which could also be fueling the conspiracy theory.
This isn’t the first time that a conspiracy theory has been floated about using a body double. During the 2016 presidential campaign there were rumors that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was using a body double.
So where did this latest rumor start? Marina Hyde, a columnist for the Guardian in the United Kingdom claims she started the conspiracy theory with a joking tweet on October 13.
In a column on October 19, Marina Hyde said she sent the tweet that helped make the story go viral.
“Finally, some fake news I can get behind. Indeed, I can’t help feeling it is fake news I am literally behind, having pointed out the top-level conspiracy last Friday evening, within seconds of NBC tweeting a video of Donald Trump being interviewed at a Secret Service training facility while Melania stood silently next to him,” Hyde wrote.
“Imagine my pride to find that by Thursday morning, this cobblers had percolated all the way up to news Valhalla – AKA sections on Good Morning Britain and Sky News – having been fanned by various nutjob social media accounts in the US,” she wrote. “Furthermore, it had been smartened up for appearance in the Washington Post and USA Today and so on. In the case of Sky News, the entire backdrop was given over to a splitscreen of ‘Melania’ at the Secret Service facility and a verified Melania image, with the chyron demanding: ‘DOES THE FIRST LADY HAVE A BODY DOUBLE?'”
The conspiracy theory has been covered in several major news outlets.
The White House recently released a public service announcement of Melania Trump asking for continued support from the devastations from hurricanes that hit Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Watch it here: