Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, addressed the 2016 Republican National Convention on Monday night, and while commentators initially praised her speech, the really rough reviews came later in the evening. It turns out that Melania cribbed significant portions of her speech from Michelle Obama’s address to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Watch for yourself:
The Trump campaign immediately dispatched surrogates to push back against charges of plagiarism. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters on Tuesday morning that the word-for-word similarities were not a big deal because “93 percent of the speech is completely different”:
Rather than take responsiblity for the speech-copying gaffe, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort denied everything and blamed Hillary Clinton for the brouhaha.
“This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down,” Manafort asserted on CNN.
“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values, that she cares about her family, things like that,” Manafort said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”
Prior to taking the reins of Trump’s struggling presidential campaign, Manafort worked as a paid foreign agent of ousted Ukrainian strongman and Vladimir Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych.