Mr Trump’s eccentric range of facial colourations has been the subject of repeated enquiry by journalists and critics seeking to question his health and state of mind, with White House insiders in the past claiming the president uses tanning beds and also applies his own make-up.
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Whatever his particular personal regime is, the facts are these: On Friday, several photographers took pictures of Mr Trump as he crossed the White House’s South Lawn after he disembarked from the Marine One helicopter following a trip to North Carolina.
Several similar photographs of the president were put out by wire service photographers for AP, PA and AFP among others.
All of them showed Mr Trump striding through the wind, with his yellow hair blown back, and a definite line between the orange tones around his eyes, nose and mouth, and the pale skin beginning just before his ears and scalp.
More Fake News. This was photoshopped, obviously, but the wind was strong and the hair looks good? Anything to demean! https://t.co/t8ptYMCYHf
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
However, one image in particular appeared to show this contrast more sharply.
The image in question was taken by the photographer William Moon, and published on the account @photowhitehouse.
Responding to a black and white version of the snap, Mr Trump wrote: “More Fake News. This was photoshopped, obviously, but the wind was strong and the hair looks good? Anything to demean!”
The photographer has denied the image was photoshopped. Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Mr Moon insisted the photo was not photoshopped, but said he had “used the Apple smartphone’s photo app to adjust the colour of the picture”.
— White House Photos (@photowhitehouse)
“Every Photographer has a same way to adjust a colour of a picture,” he added.
In the past, Mr Trump has blamed his peculiar facial pigmentation on the glare of energy efficient lightbulbs – which he then threatened to ban.
He has also insisted his unlikely glow comes from “good genes”.
It has been extensively documented how Mr Trump orders the importance of substance and style in his administration. It appears there is another crack – quite visibly – in the visage.