Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, gave a speech during the first day of the 2016 Republican National Convention that bore striking similarities to a speech given by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2008.
The Trump campaign has denied allegations that Mrs. Trump knowingly lifted passages from Mrs. Obama’s 2008 speech, calling the accusations “absurd.”
But when one compares a portion of Mrs. Trump’s speech with the First Lady’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech, the similarities between the two become apparent.
Mrs. Trump said:
“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond; that you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son and we need to pass those lessons to the many generations that follow. Because want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength to your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Mrs. Obama said:
“And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like, you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond; that you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them and even if you don't agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and to pass them onto the next generation, because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”
When asked about the similarities, RNC chairman Reince Priebus said that the person responsible for Mrs. Trump's speech would “probably” be fired.
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort denied the allegations, saying, “To think that she [Mrs. Trump] would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd."
Mr. Manafort claimed that Democrats were criticizing Mrs. Trump simply because they feel “threatened” by her husband’s presidential bid.
The Trump campaign released a statement on the controversial speech, but did not comment on the plagiarism charges.
The White House declined to comment on the speech.