While no one wants to admit it, the question of Donald Trump's skin color, or more specifically how the president achieves his unique orange hue, remains one of the nation's more talked about political topics. But is the secret finally out? In a comment to The New York Times, the White House has said it's not Maybelline — he's born with it. That's right, a White House official said Trump's tan is the result of "good genes."
A White House official speaking anonymously to The New York Times claimed that although Trump dabs "a little" powder on his face before television appearances, his coloring is just the result of "good genes." The official stressed the powder Trump uses is translucent and definitely not bronzer of any kind.
But while the White House is toeing the all natural line, a number of people with ties to Trump have said otherwise. David Smith, Trump's boarding school roommate, told The Washington Post that even as a youth the president "liked to screw an ultraviolet light into the overhead socket and lie down for a tan."
Jason Kelly, the official makeup artist for politicians at the 2016 Republican National Convention, told Harper's Bazaar that he knew "exactly what [Trump] does to himself." Kelly, who at the time of the interview had not yet worked on Trump, claimed the president used a tanning bed and spray tan. "He wears the goggles and you can see the hyper-pigmentation around his eyes," he told the magazine.
In her book Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House, which dropped last year, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed Trump had a daily tanning bed habit. "He prefers to do it in the morning so he 'looks good' all day," US Magazine quoted Newman as having written. Newman also alleged that Trump fired former chief White House usher Angella Reid because he believed she botched the job of transporting his tanning bed to the White House upon his move in.
Newman isn't the only person to have seen Trump at work in the White House and then gone on to suggest the president had a tanning habit. In his book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, Former FBI Director James Comey said Trump's "face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles."
But some, like Rolling Stone's Peter Wade, have pointed out that Trump's hands often appear to be a different shade than his face — potentially ruining the theory that he's a daily tanning bed user. What's more, multiple people described as having "spent time in the White House residence," however, have told The New York Times that there is no tanning bed or spray-tan booth on the premises for the president to use. It has been reported, however, that Trump takes prescription long-acting tetracycline to treat rosacea, a skin condition which tends to manifest as a redness of the face.
Looks like we'll just have to chalk up Trump's unique glow to "good genes" for now, at least.