A spokeswoman for Melania Trump ripped “The View” as “shameful” and said the ABC News program laughs in the face of tragedy after a segment exploring whether or not there is a body double for the first lady.
Co-host Joy Behar explained that “some people think the first lady is using an impostor” during public appearances, pointing to a viral conspiracy theory that is labeled with the hashtag #FakeMelania. The ABC News gabfest then displayed tweets in which people speculate that a stand-in actress replaces the president’s wife on occasion.
Behar announced that one particular image of the first lady didn’t look like the real thing.
“I wasn’t going to go along with this but that one, in that picture, doesn’t look like her,” Behar said. “It’s a different shaped face.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin then admitted she recently spent an hour trying to get to the bottom of the Internet rumors.
“Melania is a very tall, statuesque woman and the one that we saw, the first one that we showed, she looks kind of short,” Hostin said. “Look how short she looks.”
Behar said the conspiracy theory has caught on because there is “an element of truth” to the idea that the first lady doesn’t enjoy spending time with her husband. CNN’s Ana Navarro, who is a regular fill-in on “The View,” said the whole thing was “absurd” but she finds it comical and urged viewers to partake.
“If you have not gone to hashtag #FakeMelania, you must go see those memes,” Navarro said.
Co-host Abby Huntsman, who was the show’s only conservative for the particular segment, wasn’t convinced and said it would take too much effort to actually have a body double.
“Didn’t you see ‘Dave?’ The movie? There was an entire movie about it,” Navarro said.
Behar then declared she doesn’t really care whether or not Melania is the person being photographed, as Hostin urged the viewers to look into a particular Secret Service agent who looks like the first lady. The panel then pivoted into an examination of how tightly the president and first lady held hands in a recent photo.
White House director of communications for the first lady, Stephanie Grisham, noticed the segment and took to Twitter to condemn the ABC News segment.
“.@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,” Grisham wrote.