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Melania Trump accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama during convention speech

The former model's first prime-time speech included a passage that was strikingly similar to something the current first lady said in 2008.

by Kayla Ruble
Jul 19 2016, 12:50pm

Imagen por Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Donald Trump's wife Melania made her first appearance on the prime-time stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday night, but the former model caught the most attention for lines from the speech that appear to resemble words from current first lady Michelle Obama.

The portion of the speech that has come into question involved the Slovenian-born, potential future first lady describing the work ethic her parents instilled in her as a child.

"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," Melania said.

"They taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son," she continued. "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."

Related: The Republican convention just kicked off in Cleveland — and anything could happen

During an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC before the speech, she took the credit for penning her speech mostly on her own.

"I wrote it... with as little help as possible," she said.

Journalist Jarrett Hill appeared to be the first to publicly call out the similarities to a speech Michelle Obama gave in 2008 when her husband and current president Barack Obama was running for his first term. Hill tweeted a video of Melania's speech along with a screen shot of Michelle's words.

"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," she said in the 2008 speech.

"...And Barack Obama and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generations," she added. "Because we want our children, and all children in this nation, to know that the only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."

Here's a side by side comparison of the two women delivering the strikingly similar remarks:

The Trump campaign's top communications advisor Jason Miller issued a statement addressing the plagiarism accusations that have flooded social media since the speech.

"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," Miller said.

Related: Cleveland open-carry advocates defend their right to bear arms at the RNC

Meanwhile, Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort said that Melania was not "cribbing" Michelle's speech, attributing the similarities to common words about things she cares about.

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

"I mean, this is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down."

"It's not going to work," he added.

Watch the full speeches by Melania and Michelle Obama below:



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