'That's legit plagiarism'

This article is more than 12 months old

Part of Melania Trump's speech on Monday similar to one by Michelle Obama in 2008

She took her first, small steps into the limelight as the potential next First Lady of the United States.

Everything went well for Mrs Melania Trump, 46, whose speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday night in Cleveland was applauded by the supporters.

It was supposed to be her introduction to voters. She talked about why her husband, Mr Donald Trump, would make a great president, among other things.

But some parts of the speech had a striking similarity to the speech delivered by Mrs Michelle Obama to the Democratic National Convention in 2008, CNN reported.

Soon, controversy took over. Social media latched on to the alleged plagiarism.

Mrs Trump told NBC's Matt Lauer before the speech: "I read once over, that's all, because I wrote it."

In a statement released just after the speech, campaign spokesman Jason Miller praised her speech, which he suggested was written by other people whom he did not identify, The New York Times reported.

He did not directly address the similarities to Mrs Obama's speech but indicated that Mrs Trump had "included fragments" from others.

Mr Miller said: "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 a success."

Mr Jarrett Hill, 31, a Twitter user and a journalist, apparently first noticed the resemblance between Mrs Trump's speech and Mrs Obama's 2008 speech.

He said in an interview that one of Mrs Trump's lines - "strength of your dreams" - caught his attention.

"It kind of made me pause for a minute. I remembered that line from Michelle Obama's speech."


Mr Hill found the clip of Mrs Obama's speech online and noticed that parts of the two speeches sounded the same. He said: "I thought, 'That's legit plagiarism'. Someone took this piece and plugged in their own information. "

Mr Trump's campaign chief Paul Manafort denied there was any "cribbing of Mrs Obama's speech".

He told CNN: "She was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that.

"To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy."

From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily lives. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

- Mrs Melania Trump on Monday

And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and to pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children - and all children in this nation - to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

­­- Mrs Michelle Obama on Aug 25, 2008

donald trumpelectionsocial mediaMELANIA TRUMPREPUBLICAN CONVENTIONspeechmichelle obamaJARRETT HILLplagiarism