Meghan McCain stokes claims that Trump and Biden had plastic surgery

Meghan McCain brought a doctor on her podcast who alleged both had modifications

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published May 8, 2024 1:23PM (EDT)

Meghan McCain attends the 2023 TIME100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2023 in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)
Meghan McCain attends the 2023 TIME100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2023 in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)

Meghan McCain on the latest episode of her "Citizen McCain" podcast attempted to debunk widespread speculation that each of the likely 2024 presidential nominees has at some point gone under the knife, cosmetically speaking. 

McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and her co-host Miranda Wilkins addressed the yearslong conspiracy theories that both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have undergone cosmetic modifications. Referring to Biden's recent appearance on "The Howard Stern Show," Wilkins stated that his "face looks like it's been stretched within an inch of his life," she and McCain both noted how Trump's hairline has long been a topic of debate. 

McCain invited Dr. Anthony Youn, whom she observed to be the "most followed plastic surgeon on TikTok and YouTube" onto her show to analyze each politician's past procedures, opening Youn's segment by asking him directly if he believed either man had work done. 

"Yes. I think both of them have had work done, and I think President Biden has had a bit more than President Trump," Youn said, though he acknowledged that he doesn't believe either of them had any major work done during their respective tenures in the White House.

"They’re way too high profile," he added. "I get celebrities coming to see me asking for surgery and I’m like, ‘Look, people are going to notice. They look at you every day and if you have a little skin taken out from your eyelid or get a little facelift, they’re gonna notice right away.’”

Starting with Biden, Youn acknowledged that public speculation regarding his appearance is well-founded, asserting that "he is different!"

"So the first sign is really the hair. That was the first thing I think he had done. Back in ’83, it appears he had hair plugs. Now the hair transplants of today are very different than what they were back then. Now when we do hair transplants we will literally transplant one to two hair follicles at a time. So it can be very hard to tell if it’s been done," Youn said.

He continued: "But back in the ‘80s when he had it done — I think he had one done in ’83 and then possibly a second one in ’93 — they were hair plugs. They were sort of what you’d see in the heads of dolls. And so you can actually see, when you look at old photos of him from the ‘80s and ‘90s, you can see these little plugs of three to five hairs at a time at his hairline probably taken from the back of his head. Because the actual crown is very very thin, but he does have a full hairline in the front, and that was definitely changed over the years."

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Youn then explained the hair transplant process, noting how small incisions are made to add new hair follicles in their desired location, "and you just plant them like you’re planting seeds, planting a tree essentially."

"It's is a tedious operation and you do need to hide out for quite a while," the doctor clarified. "I don’t think he’s had this done anytime recently, although I do think he’s had some surgery done in the fairly recent past."

Regarding other hypothetical modifications Biden may have had, Youn said he feels "very strongly" that Biden had upper and lower eyelid surgery. 

"Back around 2012 or so — sometime when he was either in office or right before he came to office as Vice President, I do believe he had his upper and his lower eyelids done," he stated. "The upper eyelid surgery is removal of excess skin and the lower eyelid surgery is mainly removal of fat. And you can see today, that for a man of his age, he has very little excess skin on his upper eyelids. And he does not have puffy lower eyelids, which he did back in the early 2000s."

The doctor also alleged that Biden likely had a facelift, an alteration Youn feels was confirmed by his changed earlobes, a "telltale sign."

"I believe he had a facelift done, not while he was in office, but in those four years when Trump was in office," Youn said. "And you can look at photos of him closely — there are scars around his ears that are exactly what you see with a facelift. They used to be hanging earlobes, now he has a pixie ear deformity on the right side. That’s when you actually suture the earlobe to the side of the head and the earlobe pulls down … making it look more like an attached one than a detached one."

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McCain eventually turned to Trump, citing his appearance at a Mar-a-Lago fundraising event over the weekend, saying, "I can't tell if it's just good lighting or Facetune." 

Youn claimed that he doesn't believe the former president's dabbling plastic surgeries is "nearly as much as Joe Biden."

However, he did acknowledged that "it does appear that around 1980 is when he first had hair transplants, because just like Joe his hairline changed and his forehead shortened."

"But I do believe — and this was actually corroborated by Ivana Trump, she gave a deposition at a trial — saying that Donald had a forehead, scalp type of surgery," he added. "You can literally do a rotation where you take skin and scalp from the back of the head and you rotate it up to the front of the head to create a new hairline."

"And that’s why if you ever see him pull his hair back up front, it’s like a very straight line," Youn said. "If you look really closely, my guess is you would see a scar there. My guess is that’s why he wears his hair the way he does. The other thing is that the direction his hair goes is kind of odd. It’s not likely a typical direction that hair flows — it kind of goes in different directions and he has it combed a certain way. I do believe that when you rotate that scalp from the back to the front, it changes the direction of your hair."

For Trump, Youn said, "it's all in the hair."

"I also think he had some liposuction on his chin done around 1990, also corroborated by Ivana at some type of a deposition as well," he said. "But other than that I don’t actually think he’s had actual plastic surgery. I don’t think he’s had a facelift — he’s got a pretty darn heavy neck. He hasn’t had his lower eyelids done - he’s got really heavy lower eyelid with a lot of puffiness — the only thing he may have had done is his upper eyes, but I don’t see time in the past where his upper eyelids have changed ... I f he were to have a facelift, his neckline would look much better than it does. He does not have a sharp neckline — that’s what a facelift does."

Youn concluded by observing, "I think honestly we’re dealing with two very image conscious men, and I would guess to maybe even a bit narcissistic men. And so they’re very into their appearance. I think we all know that Trump is — you can see he doesn’t mind people knowing that. But I think that’s something Joe Biden has really flown under the radar a bit. People haven’t really talked about it. But Joe likes to look good."

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Gabriella Ferrigine is a staff writer at Salon. Originally from the Jersey Shore, she moved to New York City in 2016 to attend Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies. Formerly a staff writer at NowThis News, she has an M.A. in Magazine Journalism from NYU and was previously a news fellow at Salon.

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Citizen Mccain Donald Trump Dr. Anthony Young Joe Biden Meghan Mccain Plastic Surgery