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Trump campaign defends Melania's speech amid plagiarism claims

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 02:44

Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort denies allegations that portions of Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention were taken from Michelle Obama's speech in 2008. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Donald's Trump campaign is denying allegations that portions of Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention were plagiarized. Speaking at a news conference Tuesday morning, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said, "We don't believe there's anything in that speech that doesn't reflect her thinking... the words she used words that were personal to her." Melania Trump's speech has ignited controversy because it contained a section strikingly similar to words delivered at the Democratic convention in 2008 by the woman she hopes to succeed as U.S. first lady, Michelle Obama. An official with the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested the similarity in the section to Michelle Obama's speech may have been the result of an error by her team of speech writers. Donald Trump made no mention of the issue in a Twitter post early on Tuesday, saying simply: "It was truly an honour to introduce my wife, Melania Trump last night. Her speech and demeanour were absolutely incredible. Very proud!" Trump has never held elective office and his White House campaign has been marked by frequent controversy over unorthodox policies and freewheeling remarks that have alarmed many in the Republican establishment. It is a tradition of the party conventions for spouses to offer an enthusiastic personal endorsement of candidates. On Tuesday night, the gathering in Cleveland will formally anoint Donald Trump the Republican presidential candidate for the Nov. 8 election. It was a small section of Melania Trump's roughly 15-minute speech, a highlight of the opening day of the convention, that was similar to a part of Michelle Obama's speech in 2008 in support of Barack Obama, who was then campaigning for president. "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," said Melania Trump, a Slovenian-born jewellery designer and former model. "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 said. "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." In 2008, Michelle Obama said, "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." "...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." Before Monday's speech, Melania Trump told NBC's Matt Lauer: "I wrote it... with as little help as possible." A spokesman for the Trump campaign called the speech a success, but suggested her writers might have mistakenly injected some borrowed language.

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Trump campaign defends Melania's speech amid plagiarism claims

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 02:44