Trump's National Security Comms Pick Is Accused of Serial Plagiarism

Conservative author and commentator Monica Crowley reportedly copied large portions of her 2012 book and parts of her PhD dissertation.

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10 January 2017, 8:12pm

Apparently Monica Crowley, Donald Trump's pick for senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, not only plagiarized more than 50 sections of her 2012 book, What the (Bleep) Just Happened, as CNN Money reported last weekend—she was beefing up her writing with other people's work back at Columbia University, where she was completing her PhD.

After reviewing her 2000 dissertation, Politico found more than 12 instances where the conservative author and commentator lifted directly from scholarly texts, without using quotation marks or providing the correct attribution. The paper appears to violate the university's rules on both unintentional and intentional plagiarism, as defined by its policies.

Both Crowley's thesis advisor and Columbia University have declined to comment about her dissertation. However, Trump—a noted plagiarism denier—defended his pick even after Crowley was first accused of lifting work from other columnists, news articles, think tanks, and Wikipedia, word-for-word, for her 2012 book.

"Monica's exceptional insight and thoughtful work on how to turn this country around is exactly why she will be serving in the administration," Trump's transition team told CNN, as Crowley's position does not require confirmation from the Senate. "Any attempt to discredit Monica is nothing more than a politically motivated attack that seeks to distract from the real issues facing this country."

Crowley has also been accused of plagiarizing a column she wrote for the Wall Street Journal in 1999 that very closely resembled a 1988 article from a neoconservative magazine. Although she denied the charge, the Journal later issued an editor's note, saying it would not have published the column had it "known of the parallels."

Update: On Tuesday, publisher HarperCollins announced that it will be pulling existing copies of Crowley's book, What the (Bleep) Just Happened, from shelves due to reports of plagiarism. The publishing company addressed the accusations in a statement released to CNN, saying, "The book, which has reached the end of its natural sales cycle, will no longer be offered for purchase until such time as the author has the opportunity to source and revise the material."

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