Trump's Weight Spawns Another 'Girther' Movement on Twitter

Americans were talking about the president’s weight on Tuesday afternoon—after a briefing regarding the annual presidential physical ignited a twitterstorm about the "girther" movement.

When the White House's physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, announced that the president was healthy but needed to lose 10 to 15 of his 239 pounds, some skeptics theorized that the president weighed more than that. When MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted, "Has anyone coined 'girther' for those who [believe] the president weighs more than his doctor reports?," tweeters responded with insults, theories about how the president has lied about his weight and a few bad puns. 

The word girther is a play on the “birther” movement President Donald Trump revived in 2011. For years, he demanded to see President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, alleging that he was born in Kenya and therefore not eligible to be president. Trump also alleged that the birth certificate Trump presented in 2008 was a fake.

After pushing the theory forward, Trump held a bizarre press conference last year in which he did not apologize for the remarks, as expected, but instead simply said, “President Obama was born in the United States—period.’’ 

01_16_PresidentTrump President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan at the White House on January 16, 2018. GETTY/Olivier Douliery

It’s not even the first girther movement involving Trump. In 2016, the president alluded to the size of his penis on the debate stage, saying, "I guarantee you there's no problem. I guarantee." In response, Twitter, of course, demanded to see the "girth certificate"—or, as some called it, "the schlong form girth certificate." 

Americans have scrutinized the appearances and weight of many former presidents. William Howard Taft, who weighed over 350 pounds, was the butt of many jokes, for example. One popular rumor, which doesn’t appear to have documentation to back it up, is that he once got stuck in a White House bathtub. He did, however, commission a company in Manhattan to make the “largest solid porcelain tub ever made for an individual,” according to the History Channel.

Trump has commented on the appearance of other world leaders. In November 2017, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the president "old," Trump responded, "Why would Kim Jong Un insult me by calling me "old" when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend—and maybe someday that will happen!"

Join the Discussion