On Wednesday, President Donald Trump called media outlets “deranged” and accused them of digitally altering photos of First Lady Melania Trump and pushing a conspiracy theory that his wife used a body double for a trip to Alabama last week.

The “Fake Melania” conspiracy claims the 48-year-old Slovenian-born first lady has used a stand-in multiple times to appear alongside the president at public events. The theory reappeared on Twitter this week after the couple traveled to tornado-ravaged Alabama.

“The Fake News photoshopped pictures of Melania, then propelled conspiracy theories that it’s actually not her by my side in Alabama and other places,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “They are only getting more deranged with time!”

Several late-night shows have made jokes about the theory, and the panel on ABC’s The View also discussed it.

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The tornadoes in Alabama earlier this month claimed nearly two dozen lives. Twitter users quickly began pointing to Melania’s height and facial structure, among other things, in a photo of her and the president visiting survivors as a basis for the “fake Melania” theory.


Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, blasted the women on the The View for laughing at the Melania theory “in the face of tragedy,” calling their response “shameful” in a tweet.

One of the anchors on The View is Abby Huntsmanthe daughter of former Uah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), who is Trump’s Ambassador to Russia.

Since Donald Trump took office in January 2017, Melania has frequently rejected many public displays of affection like holding hands with the president. Many media outlets have also speculated about tensions in the couple’s marriage, especially given the reports of the president’s alleged extramarital affairs with porn stars and Playboy models, among other women.