On Nov. 14, 2019, the American Freedom World Peace YouTube channel posted a video purportedly showing U.S. President Donald Trump's "WIG Getting BLOWN OFF By Plane Engine Propeller" [sic]. The clip presents multiple looped and speed-altered versions of a single incident, which is Trump discussing the possible release of a transcript of a phone call between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, while the jet engine of a nearby airplane sucks a hairpiece off of his head:
Although the goofy and cartoonish fabricated nature of this video seems apparent, the clip prompted many inquiries from readers about its authenticity, so we'll briefly note the obvious factors that mark it as the product of digital manipulation:
- If the depicted incident had truly occurred and been captured on camera, the resulting video would have become a massively viral news clip rather than being relegated to an entry in an obscure YouTube channel.
- Although the video bears watermarks of both ABC News and the White House website, this clip is nowhere to be found (in the form presented here) on either of those entities' web properties.
- Neither Trump nor either of the two men standing behind him in the clip flinched or otherwise reacted in the slightest when the president's "wig" was supposedly sucked off his head and whipped past them.
- Safety and security regulations would not allow anyone — especially the U.S. president — to be standing in such close proximity to an operating jet engine. And anyone who did likely would have suffered much more grievous physical harm than merely losing a hairpiece.
For those who require more concrete proof, here is the original, un-doctored video, in which Trump's hair remains firmly in place throughout: