As President Donald Trump walked the streets of Washington, D.C., during his inauguration festivities last week, some observant viewers were convinced there was something strange about one of the men on his security detail.
The speculation captivating the internet is that the man's right arm could be fake, possibly concealing a weapons system under his jacket. A quick search on Google or social media will return plenty of results.
It's easy to see how the rumor began.
Watch the right arm of the bodyguard, presumably a Secret Service officer, as he walks alongside the Trump family during the inauguration parade:
The man's arm doesn't appear to change positions much either.
Same thing here:
And over there:
Here's a close-up of the hand:
But the truth, as is usually the case, is much less interesting.
A law enforcement official with knowledge of the situation told Independent Journal Review on Monday that the “fake arm” speculation is “outrageous” and flatly denied that the Secret Service resorted to “parlor tricks” to protect President Trump.
The official left no wiggle room in his response. There was no fake arm, he said.
The agent's hand seemingly awkward hand positioning is more than likely just a tactical preparedness position.
Retired Secret Service agent Gary Byrne told Independent Journal Review that agents are taught to keep their hands above their waistline as a preparedness measure in the event of any unforeseen threat.
Even though the fake arm theory turned out to be bogus, it's still not as far-fetched as it might seem.
Byrne told IJR that the Secret Service in the past had an Uzi that could be carried inside a briefcase — and it could be fired without opening it. It's unclear if the Secret Service ever used it, but it was used for demonstrations, according to Byrne.
Byrne commended the Secret Service for its stellar performance during Trump's inauguration, saying he didn't witness any breaches of protocol or unusual events.