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Trump called out a viral picture of his tan line for being edited, but originals didn't look too different

Connor Perrett , Business Insider US
 Feb 09, 2020, 12:18 PM
The president claimed this image that showed a stark tan line was doctored.
  • A photo of President Donald Trump went viral on Saturday, as users pointed out a stark tan line present between the border of his face and his hairline.
  • In response, the president tweeted that the photo was "Fake News," adding the black-and-white photo was photoshopped.
  • The president didn't, however, comment on the colourised version of the photo that also showed a similar tan line.
  • Whether the photo is photoshopped, there is a documented history of questions into the president's constant orange glow.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

President Donald Trump on Saturday took to Twitter to call out a viral photo that drew attention to his tan line and led to the #OrangeFace trend in the US.

"More Fake News," the 45th president tweeted Saturday. "This was photoshopped, obviously, but the wind was strong and the hair looks good? Anything to demean!"

The colourised version of the photo, which was also shared across social media, seems to show less contrast than a black-and-white version the president shared, but the difference between the pale white tones around the president's hairline and the dark orange tone of the rest of his face is clear.

The photos were shared on the Twitter and Instagram accounts of a man named Willaim Moon, who in his Twitter bio claims to be a "White House Correspondent, Journalist, Photographer, Poet and Pesco Vegetarian."

Despite this, Moon is not listed as a White House photographer and neither his Instagram or Twitter accounts are verified. His Twitter name is "White House Photos," while his Instagram name is "thewhitehousephotos." As Vox noted, Moon only posts photographs of events that are open to the press. The Trump Administration's official photographer is Shealah Craighead.

While Moon seems to have some credentialed access to the White House and has posted photos of the president since 2017 - racking up more than 18,000 followers on Twitter in the process - he is likely not affiliated with the administration and perhaps not even a member of the press corps, Vox noted.

Still, with captions like "Today, @realDonaldTrump was dancing with the sunset and strong winds when he walked to the Oval Office from the Marine One on the South Lawn," it doesn't seem particularly likely that Moon edited the photo to purposefully portray the president in a negative light.

The account has on more than one occasion posted several different edits of the same photo, including black-and-white versions, which could indicate that any edits made to the photo of the president on Saturday were not part of a "Fake News" agenda as Trump claimed in his tweet.

While Trump seems to outright claim the photo is edited, another photo on the same windy Washinton, DC, Friday, taken by Getty Images' Brendan Smialowski, shows the president with a similar, albeit less prominent, tan line.

US President Donald Trump walks from Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House February 7, 2020, in Washington, DC.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Regardless of the viral photo in question, the mysterious photographer who snapped and posted it, or Trump's denial of its legitimacy, the 45th commander-in-chief's skin tone has been a point of discussion for years. Early in February, The New York Times published an article calling his skin colour a "state secret."

The White House has said the president's tan skin - even in the dead of Washington, D.C. winter - is the result of "good genes," the New York Times said.

An article from The Washington Post in December 2019 said that former Trump housekeepers revealed he at one time required two containers of a particular brand of face makeup.

"The same rule applied to the Bronx Colours-brand face makeup from Switzerland that Trump slathered on - two full containers, one half full - even if it meant the housekeepers had to regularly bring new shirts from the pro shop because of the rust-coloured stains on the collars," according to WaPo.

Moon did not respond to a Business Insider request for comment.

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