In 2017, many people began theorizing that the White House was using a Melania body double to fulfill the first lady's public duties. Vox reports one of the first "fake Melania" theorists was a Twitter user named Joe Vargas, who examined a video of FLOTUS—or someone we assumed was FLOTUS—accompanying Trump at a U.S Secret Service training facility in October 2017. Vargas called the alleged stunt "mind-blowing," and wondered what other "lies" the Trump administration was behind.
On Friday, Melania joined the president in Alabama as he surveyed the devastation caused by deadly tornados. There was one particular photo-op that sparked suspicion: an image in which the first lady is seen standing next to her husband in front of a memorial for the 23 people killed in the storms.
Observers insisted the "fake Melania" had different physical features to the "real Melania"—specifically pointing to the height variation and facial structure. Others analyzed video of the Trumps arriving in Alabama, claiming the "decoy" moved and acted differently than the Melania we've seen in the past.
The White House has, of course, denied that a Melania body double exists, while former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow told CNN that the government doesn't use decoys in any circumstances.
"Once again, we find ourselves consumed with a ridiculous non-story when we could be talking about the work the first lady is doing on behalf of children, including the opioid crisis that is gripping our nation," FLOTUS' communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN. "
So, we'll just have to take the White House's word. Though the "fake Melania" theory does seem far-fetched, it has resulted in some pretty entertaining reactions. You can check out some of these gems below.