Melania Trump’s 14-minute speech before the Republican Party was criticized for two paragraphs taken almost verbatim from first lady Michelle Obama’s address to the Democratic nominating convention eight years ago.
After Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, apparently plagiarized Michelle Obama’s remarks, the GOP campaign claimed that the media and Hillary Clinton supporters are responsible.
The billionaire real estate developer’s third wife is a former model born in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, where her father, Viktor Knavs, was a member of the Slovenian Communist Party.
She met Trump at a Fashion Week party in New York City in September 1998, while he was still married to Marla Maples, and she repeated lines previously used by President Obama’s wife describing family values.
Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort denied what was obvious and declined to explain in detail how Mrs. Trump’s speech was written but he told reporters that the campaign would not fire anyone over the incident.
That opinion was not universally shared. Ex-Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Mrs. Trump’s speechwriter should be fired, telling CNN: “I know what it’s like to be fired by the Trump campaign.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said he would fire a speechwriter who did something similar, though he added “it all kind of depends on the circumstances and how it was written.”
While two paragraphs of Melania Trump’s remarks matched the text of Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech nearly word-for-word, Manafort and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie defended the lack of originality.
The similarities in wording were first noticed by television/radio host and interior designer Jarrett Hill, who wrote on Twitter: “OMG. Melania. That was literally a whole line from Michelle Obama 2012. ‘…their willingness to work hard for them.'”
Hill subsequently wrote, “Melania must’ve liked Michelle Obama’s 2008 Convention speech, since she plagiarized it.”
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