Donald Trump has hit back at a “fake” viral photograph showing an unflattering tan line on his forehead, claiming it has been photoshopped.
An image of the US president showing his hair being swept back by the wind and an orange-hued line surrounding his face has been shared widely on social media since it was posted on Friday, with the hashtag #orangeface briefly trending on Twitter.
It was originally posted by an unverified Twitter account claiming to belong to a White House photographer named William Moon, who claims to be a “Journalist, Photographer, Poet and Pesco Vegetarian” in his bio.
The photo was captioned: @realDonaldTrump returns to the White House from Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by William Moon at the South Lawn of the White House on February 7, 2020.
The image quickly became an internet meme, with many Trump critics mocking his decidedly unnatural complexion.
One Twitter user wrote: “Tupperware after you store spaghetti in it”, while another quipped: “The stain of impeachment never washes off.”
Trump is known to be sensitive about his appearance – particularly his hair – and soon responded with a tweet of his own to a black-and-white version of the image doing the rounds.
“More Fake News. This was photoshopped, obviously, but the wind was strong and the hair looks good? Anything to demean!”, he wrote.
However, the White House Photos account later claimed in a tweet that the picture hadn’t been photoshopped, but had “used the Apple smartphone’s photo app to adjust the color [sic] of the picture.”
Doubts were quickly raised about the photo’s authenticity after it was compared to images of Trump from the same moment, which showed a orange-coloured tan line but with less hue.
White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham told CNBC that Moon was not an an official White House photographer and she had nothing to add “beyond the president’s tweet”.
It’s not the first time Trump has been mocked for his orange tan. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, who is hoping to challenge Trump in the 2020 election, recently accused Trump of lying “about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan.”
The Washington Post has reported that Trump uses liquid face makeup to achieve his unusual orange-tinted hue.