Trump Campaign Denies Lifting Michelle Obama Speech!
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — The Donald Trump campaign on Tuesday denied allegations that Melania Trump plagiarized a Michelle Obama speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention, calling the accusation “just really absurd.”
“To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd,” Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”
At least one passage in Trump’s speech Monday night plagiarized from Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
Side-by-side comparisons of the transcripts show the text in Trump’s address following, nearly to the word, the would-be future first lady’s own from the first night of the Democratic convention in Denver nearly eight years ago.
But Manafort said the words Melania used were not “cribbed” but are common words.
“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values. She cares about her family,” Manafort said. “To think that she’d be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”
Manafort said attacks on Trump’s speech are due to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, being “threatened” by Trump.
“This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work,” he said.
The controversy quickly overshadowed the speech, which was to have been her introduction to voters. It focused on her immigration to the US and her love for her husband.
A Republican operative familiar with how the campaign was handling the speeches said a number of senior aides had a role, edited Melania’s speech, suggested changes and provided guidance. Manafort told CNN’s Phil Mattingly earlier on Tuesday that he wasn’t involved in drafting the speech and served solely in a sign-off role.
The Trump campaign released a statement on the speech after the similarities were uncovered, but the statement did not mention the plagiarism charge.
“In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success,” according to Jason Miller, the senior communications adviser.
Earlier in the day, Melania Trump told NBC’s Matt Lauer: “I read once over it, that’s all, because I wrote it … with (as) little help as possible.”
Read more at CNN.