Did Melania Trump plagiarize Michelle Obama in GOP convention speech?

Presumptive Republican nominee's wife is accused of copying parts of 2008 address by outgoing first lady.

July 19, 2016 08:12
2 minute read.

Speeches of Michelle Obama and Melania Trump

Speeches of Michelle Obama and Melania Trump


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Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's wife Melania was accused of plagiarism after her first major political speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday.

US media and social media users were quick to point out that part of the Slovenian-born former model's speech appeared to be nearly identical to an excerpt from an address by first lady Michelle Obama during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The text in question centered on Melania Trump's remarks on her upbringing and value code during her speech in support of her husband.

"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 and 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,” she said.

"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."
Shortly after her speech in Cleveland, various US media outlets published a selection from Michelle Obama's speech in which certain phrases and structure seem strikingly similar to those used by the possible next first lady.

"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, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them," the first lady said, according to a CNN transcript of the speech.

"And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and to pass them on to 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 for them."

Ahead of her speech, Melania Trump had told NBC that she had penned her comments by herself, "with as little help as possible."

While Melania Trump's remarks have been viewed as an attempt to soften the image of her brash billionaire real-estate mogul husband, the incident appeared to be the latest controversy in the heated 2016 presidential contest.

A representative of the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters reported.

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