Oswald: That's FLOTUS next to the president, not a stand-in

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania visited Alabama earlier this month to honor the victims of March 3 tornadoes.

Photos and video from the event reignited a theory that it was actually a body double instead of Melania on the trip, according to People magazine.

The theory began with a 2017 Twitter post that claimed a look-alike stand-in for the first lady accompanied the president to an event, People said. The White House has previously said the story is "ridiculous."

That post has received more than 110,000 likes and been retweeted 65,000 times, People said. Other users have posted photos in which the supposedly fake Melania attended an event in place of the real Melania.

On Wednesday, the president reacted with a Twitter post after hosts of the TV show "The View" discussed the body double theory.

"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 wrote, according to calls the body double claim "false" and blamed bad video quality for launching the look-alike claim.

Migrants aren't getting elective surgery

A story circulating on social media claiming migrant women and children are receiving elective eye surgery and dental care isn't true, according to The Associated Press.

A Twitter post claims, "Elective LASIK surgery is offered to all female migrants in family detention. Children given braces. All no cost. Then catch and release into the interior. Migrants calling home with this news of these incredible benefits, and the rush here goes on."

A spokesman from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told AP that no elective surgeries or procedures are approved.

Medical procedures are only approved if necessary to preserve life, limb or eyesight, he said.

The man who posted the claim, Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies, attributed the story to an unnamed asylum officer but told AP he was "not attesting to the veracity" of what he put in his Twitter post.

Anti-American protest wasn't in Michigan

A photo of a group of Muslim women with "Down With USA" written on their hands has been posted on social media with the caption, "This is not the Middle East where America is hated and Muslim terrorist (sic) are born … This is Michigan."

The photo actually was taken in the Middle East, not Michigan, according to

The original photo, taken Nov. 4, 2013, shows Iranian demonstrators during an anti-American rally on the 34th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, according to USA Today.

Is that a snake - or is it just your leg?

A social media post shows side-by-side photos of a person wearing snake-print leggings and an injured, bandaged foot with the back story that a man saw his wife's leg, thought it was a snake, and broke her foot with an iron stick.

But the photos are unrelated and the story is made up, according to

The post, shared earlier this month on the Medical Shots Twitter account, was not the first time these photos or some form of the story has made the rounds, Snopes said.

The meme has been circulating on websites and social media since at least last December.

The post claims a woman was sleeping in snake-print pajamas.

When she had one leg outside the blanket, her husband mistook her foot for a snake and hit it with an iron stick.

The photo of a women wearing the snake-print is actually from an ad for a pair of novelty leggings available on websites such as Amazon, Snopes said.

The other image is from a medical website with instructions for medical students on how to treat and sew a wound. The foot in the photo belongs to a 36-year-old man.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at

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