Actresses Christine Baranski and Laura Benanti Do Their Best Melania Trump in #FakeMelania Skit
“How could there be two Melania Trumps? Think about it: Doesn’t it seem crazy there’s even one?”
Laura Benanti dropped by The Late Show late last week to reprise her role as Melania Trump — and, channeling the first lady, Benanti did her best to squash the viral conspiracy theory that Mrs. Trump has been using a body double in public appearances with the president.
“How could there be two Melania Trumps? Think about it: Doesn’t it seem crazy there’s even one?” she said. “Why would anyone impersonate Melania Trump, for what? Attention? Applause? Besides, it’d take some kind of Tony-award winning actor to pull off this role.”
Benanti then whipped out her very own Tony, which she won in 2008 for her role in Gypsy, before joking that a double would really only be useful in the bedroom.
Eventually, Benanti-as-Mrs. Trump stormed out of the interview, citing bullying, after Colbert asked about President Donald Trump’s take on family-based migration, which is how the first lady’s parents immigrated to the United States from Slovenia.
She eventually returned, however — only this time Mrs. Trump was played by CBS star Christine Baranski.
“Yes, it’s me, the first and only first lady,” Baranski said. “You can’t get rid of me not matter how hard I try.”
She reached her limit with the role, too, after trying and failing to say she was in love with President Trump. A third first lady, played by comedian Brian Stack, then stepped in to take her place.
The #FakeMelania conspiracy that Mrs. Trump, 48, uses a body double on certain official appearances with President Trump first surfaced in 2017 but took off again earlier this month after the president visited Alabama to honor the victims of a deadly tornado.
A spokeswoman for the first lady previously labeled it “ridiculous,” telling CNN in 2017: “Once again, we find ourselves consumed with a ridiculous non-story when we could be talking about the work the first lady is doing on behalf of children, including the opioid crisis that is gripping our nation.”
President Trump, meanwhile, weighed in on the conspiracy theory on Twitter.
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“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,” he wrote, though he declined to provide evidence that the image had been photoshopped.
“They [the media] are only getting more deranged with time!” the president wrote.
Fox & Friends, a favorite morning program for him, discussed the topic on Wednesday morning, per the Associated Press, apparently prompting his tweet.
The president has his own history of peddling outrageous theories, including enhancing his national political profile with frequent allegations that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Since turning to politics, Trump has made other debunked or wild claims such as that he only lost the popular vote against Hillary Clinton because non-citizens voted for her.