On Monday, the ladies of “The View” spent almost five minutes seriously debating whether or not first lady Melania Trump has a body double for some public events with President Donald Trump. This #FakeMelania conspiracy theory has made the rounds on the internet but the ladies of “The View” gave it far too much credibility and air time.
“The ‘Fake Melania’ online conspiracy is back. Some people think the first lady is using an imposter to stand in for her,” Joy Behar began. “You mean there are two women that have to pretend they’re listening to him?”
After pulling up photos on the screen, Behar said, “That one does not look like her, sorry. I wasn’t going to go along with this, but that one in that picture doesn’t look like her.”
“The View” shared this tweet with photos supposedly showing a “fake Melania.”
“It’s a different shaped face,” Behar insisted.
“I’m ashamed to say, I spent like an hour on Saturday involved in this,” Sunny Hostin added. “Melania is a very tall, statuesque woman and the one that we saw — the first one that we showed she looks kind of short… Look how short she looks.”
Behar countered that “Trump is tall.” She then explained how the rumor-mill perpetrated the “Fake Melania” conspiracy.
“It catches on because when there’s a rumor like this and memes all over the place — it catches on because there’s an element of truth to the idea that she doesn’t want to spend time with him,” Behar said.
CNN’s Ana Navarro argued that the “absurdity” of Trump being president also made the conspiracy theory more plausible. “Political reality right now is so absurd that you would almost believe anything,” she said. “I think this is crazy and it’s absurd. It’s also funny, and we need to laugh. For me, the laughing part is a coping mechanism.”
Navarro urged her viewers to follow the conspiracy theory on social media. “If you have not gone to hashtag ‘Fake Melania,’ you must go see those memes,” she said.
“I’d rather be talking about whether it’s a fake Melania or whether the president of the United States is a Russian actor or not,” Navarro added, giving yet more undue weight to the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory. “If there’s going to be a body double, can we get one for him?”
Abby Huntsman acted as the voice of reason. “I’m actually — I don’t know what it says, if it’s more about us that we spend so much time on the internet focused on this conspiracy or if they think that if anyone can get away with it it’s the Trumps, right? I’m not convinced,” she said. “How much effort is that going to take for someone to figure out exactly how to be her?”
“So to have someone play you and go through all this effort, it seems like a bit much,” she said.
Hostin tried to breathe new air into the conspiracy, saying, “The Secret Service agent looks like her though. That’s the rabbit hole I started going down.”
“I started researching whether or not the Secret Service has ever admitted that they do it, and then the Secret Service has denied the use of body doubles but then I started thinking, well, of course they deny it, because then they could never do it,” Hostin added. In other words, if the Secret Service admitted to using body doubles, the practice would lose its effectiveness.
Ultimately, the ladies of “The View” each admitted, “I don’t care” if there is a “fake Melania.”
Navarro concluded by saying, “Let’s have fun with Melania.”
Not everyone was laughing, however. Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s communications director, attacked “The View” for choosing “to laugh in the face of tragedy.” After all, this entire latest cycle of “fake Melania” conspiracy theories came after photos appeared of Trump and his wife arriving to pay their respects to victims of the tornado in Alabama.
For “The View” to promote a conspiracy theory amid this tragedy is just “shameful,” Grisham tweeted.
.@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. https://t.co/KzG2c4Th4a
— Stephanie Grisham (@StephGrisham45) March 11, 2019
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.