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Melania Trump's new "Be Best" pamphlet was first published under the Obama administration

First lady Melania Trump isn’t exactly known for her originality when it comes to public messaging.

by Rex Santus
May 7 2018, 9:56pm

First lady Melania Trump and her aides aren’t exactly known for originality when it comes to public messaging, and on Monday she bolstered that legacy with the debut of her new initiative, “Be Best.”

The White House credits Melania and the Federal Trade Commission as the authors of a new booklet called “Talking with Kids About Being Online” that accompanied the announcement. It’s part of Melania’s just-unveiled initiative, which focuses on well-being, opioid abuse, and positivity on social media. But it’s also, as BuzzFeed’s Ryan Mac pointed out on Twitter, almost identical to one the FTC published back in 2014.

From its distinctive blue-and-orange graphic design scheme to its tips on properly reporting phishing scams, Melania’s booklet matches almost word-for-word the FTC’s 2014 pamphlet.

Nat Wood, the FTC's associate director for consumer and business education, told VICE News that a version of the pamphlet has been in circulation since 2009. He said that Melania authored a letter at the top of the pamphlet.

The White House's website says the booklet is "by First Lady Melania Trump and the Federal Trade Commission."

“Be Best” is the first major public project Melania has undertaken since she became first lady in January 2017, a role in which she has enjoyed much more privacy than her recent predecessors, even staying behind with her son in New York City for six months after her husband took office in D.C.

The situation also bears a similarity to that of Melania's speech before the Republican National Convention in 2016, which plagiarized a speech the former first lady Michelle Obama gave to Democrats in 2008.

Cover image: U.S. first lady Melania Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House May 7, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

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