Like it or not, it seems pretty clear that Melania Trump plagiarized part of the speech she gave Monday night at the Republican National Convention from Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Mrs. The Donald had previously told Matt Lauer that she "wrote it with as little help as possible," which, if that really is the case, doesn't seem like a great idea, because that's why there are actual political speech writers.
Didn't anyone even read it over before she presented it? Other than Mr. The Donald, that is, who clearly was not particularly helpful in the "oh, you're using someone else's words, that's not really a great idea" department.
Tuesday morning, Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort told CNN's Chris Cuomo: "To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd." Yes. It is. But just about everything about Trump's campaign is "really absurd," so this actually makes perfect sense.
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.
Wait—so now Melania had a "team of writers"? Okay, fair enough. Also, Miller's statement doesn't actually address the plagiarism concerns. And what about those fragments that reflected her own thinking? Does he mean "fragments that reflected Michelle Obama's thinking that she really liked"?
Chris Christie also cannot believe that Melania would plagiarize a speech. On Tuesday, he told CNN: "I just don't see it. . . If we're talking about 7% of a speech, that was really, universally considered to be a good performance by Melania. I know her. There's no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech."
Sources familiar with the campaign told CNN that Rick Gates, a "top Manafort deputy," oversaw the writing of Melania Trump's speech, but when CNN asked Gates if he'd overseen the project, he replied "Absolutely not." Okay, great. Just as long as everyone's on the same page.
Manafort blames the criticism of Melania's speech on Hilary Clinton. He told CNN: "This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It's not going to work." Seems odd to blame Clinton when actually it was journalist Jarrett Hill who first pointed out the plagiarism, but this is the Trump campaign, after all.
Anyway, Twitter is having a blast with this statement fiasco, just like they had fun with the revelation that the speech was, at least in part, plagiarized.
It's honestly hard not to feel sort of bad for Mrs. The Donald here. Clearly she didn't write the speech on her own. She probably desperately practiced the speech for days while Trump withheld food and sunlight until she got it just right. And now plagiarism accusations! She never signed up for any of this.