Plagiarism allegations continue to plague the Trump campaign as reports surface that the original draft of Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention did not include the passages that resemble Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention address.
Citing “documents obtained exclusively by NBC News,” Alexandra Jaffe reports that the controversial section of Melania’s speech originated within the Trump campaign and “raises new questions for the GOP nominee’s top aides.”
Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort has denied any plagiarism and the campaign has stated that nobody will be fired or disciplined. The lack of action by the campaign has led pundits to speculate that Melania herself may be at fault. NBC News reports that the Trump campaign hired veteran political speechwriter Matthew Scully to assist Melania, but Scully’s version didn’t include the passages in question.
“They hired the best speechwriters in the business … then they just ripped it to shreds and decided to go plagiarize,” former Rand Paul aide Elise Jordan told MSNBC before explaining that every word in a political speech should be vetted.
The speech seemed to go over well in real time and was praised by observers on both sides of the aisle until the plagiarism allegations quickly went viral. The response from the Trump campaign has been confusing and contradictory.
Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer mocked the allegations, while Trump himself admitted that unnamed speechwriters “should’ve cleaned it up better,” in an interview with CBS News.
Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough openly pondered why the campaign continues to leak information that places blame on Donald Trump’s wife.
“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,” Trump campaign senior communications advisor Jason Miller said in an official statement early Tuesday morning.